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Synonym Chooser

How is the word counterfeit different from other nouns like it?

Some common synonyms of counterfeit are fake, fraud, humbug, imposture, and sham. While all these words mean "a thing made to seem other than it is," counterfeit applies especially to the close imitation of something valuable.

20-dollar bills that were counterfeits

In what contexts can fake take the place of counterfeit?

The synonyms fake and counterfeit are sometimes interchangeable, but fake implies an imitation of or substitution for the genuine but does not necessarily imply dishonesty.

these jewels are fakes; the real ones are in the vault

When is it sensible to use fraud instead of counterfeit?

In some situations, the words fraud and counterfeit are roughly equivalent. However, fraud usually implies a deliberate perversion of the truth.

the diary was exposed as a fraud

Where would humbug be a reasonable alternative to counterfeit?

The meanings of humbug and counterfeit largely overlap; however, humbug suggests elaborate pretense usually so flagrant as to be transparent.

creating publicity by foisting humbugs on a gullible public

When might imposture be a better fit than counterfeit?

The words imposture and counterfeit are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, imposture applies to any situation in which a spurious object or performance is passed off as genuine.

their claim of environmental concern is an imposture

When would sham be a good substitute for counterfeit?

The words sham and counterfeit can be used in similar contexts, but sham applies to fraudulent imitation of a real thing or action.

condemned the election as a sham

Thesaurus Entries Near counterfeit

Cite this Entry

“Counterfeit.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jun. 2024.

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