men·​da·​cious | \ men-ˈdā-shəs How to pronounce mendacious (audio) \

Definition of mendacious

: given to or characterized by deception or falsehood or divergence from absolute truth mendacious tales of his adventures

Other Words from mendacious

mendaciously adverb
mendaciousness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for mendacious



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Choose the Right Synonym for mendacious

dishonest, deceitful, mendacious, untruthful mean unworthy of trust or belief. dishonest implies a willful perversion of truth in order to deceive, cheat, or defraud. a swindle usually involves two dishonest people deceitful usually implies an intent to mislead and commonly suggests a false appearance or double-dealing. the secret affairs of a deceitful spouse mendacious may suggest bland or even harmlessly mischievous deceit and when used of people often suggests a habit of telling untruths. mendacious tales of adventure untruthful stresses a discrepancy between what is said and fact or reality. an untruthful account of their actions

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Mendacious and lying have very similar meanings, but the two are not interchangeable. Mendacious is more formal and literary, suggesting a deception harmless enough to be considered somewhat bland. Lying is more blunt, accusatory, and often confrontational. You might yell, "You lying rat!" in an argument, but you would most likely stick to the more diplomatic, "Aren't you being somewhat mendacious?" in a business meeting. Mendacious can also imply habitual untruthfulness, whereas lying is more likely to be used to identify specific instances of dishonesty.

Examples of mendacious in a Sentence

Indeed, the racist and Malthusian elements in Darwin's work are subjects on which the new secularists are either silent, delicate, or mendacious. — Eugene McCarraher, Commonweal, 15 June 2007 A choice item in the collection of mendacious stories that were circulated about Columbus after his death is this. Columbus lost himself on the way to Hispaniola, and only by virtue of letters and pilots sent by Martín Alonso did he manage to find the island and join Pinta. — Samuel Eliot Morison, Admiral of the Ocean Sea, 1942 Mildred had become great friends with her and had given her an elaborate but mendacious account of the circumstances which had brought her to the pass she was in. — W. Somerset Maugham, Of Human Bondage, 1915 The newspaper story was mendacious and hurtful. that tabloid routinely publishes the most moronically mendacious stories about celebrities
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Recent Examples on the Web The chance that these good bougie friends could all be Pelosi voters raises the specter of other mendacious California female partisans Boxer and Feinstein and their ferocious Hollywood supporters. Armond White, National Review, 17 Nov. 2021 Selfish, feckless, self-deluded, weak-willed yet childishly willful, manipulative, slothful, and mendacious: How can such a despicable character also be such a likable one? Sigrid Nunez, Harper's Magazine, 28 Sep. 2021 Yet the conspiratorial and at times clownish attempts to overturn the election -- especially by Trump's legal team -- don't make an unprecedented effort to destroy America's democratic traditions any less mendacious. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 22 Sep. 2021 The result is a mendacious muddle, in which only one conclusion can be drawn: The elites are hiding something—likely something very sinister—from everyone else. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 16 Sep. 2021 In deference to Wallace, there’s no wholesome, consensus journalistic approach to dealing with top U.S. officials who have become serially mendacious. Washington Post, 4 June 2021 The challenge is reaching them before mendacious narratives do. Astra Taylor, The New Republic, 6 May 2021 But unlike Cheney, Stefanik stood with Trump by peddling his mendacious claims and voting against certification of President Biden’s Electoral College victory. The Editors, National Review, 5 May 2021 Joe Biden’s assessment of his first 100 days in office is exaggerated if not outright mendacious. Isaac Schorr, National Review, 30 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mendacious.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of mendacious

1616, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for mendacious

Latin mendac-, mendax — more at amend

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The first known use of mendacious was in 1616

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Last Updated

14 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Mendacious.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2022.

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English Language Learners Definition of mendacious

: not honest : likely to tell lies
: based on lies

More from Merriam-Webster on mendacious

Nglish: Translation of mendacious for Spanish Speakers


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