Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective mendacious differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of mendacious are deceitful, dishonest, and untruthful. While all these words mean "unworthy of trust or belief," 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

When is deceitful a more appropriate choice than mendacious?

The words deceitful and mendacious are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, deceitful usually implies an intent to mislead and commonly suggests a false appearance or double-dealing.

the secret affairs of a deceitful spouse

When might dishonest be a better fit than mendacious?

In some situations, the words dishonest and mendacious are roughly equivalent. However, dishonest implies a willful perversion of truth in order to deceive, cheat, or defraud.

a swindle usually involves two dishonest people

In what contexts can untruthful take the place of mendacious?

The meanings of untruthful and mendacious largely overlap; however, untruthful stresses a discrepancy between what is said and fact or reality.

an untruthful account of their actions

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Cite this Entry

“Mendacious.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/mendacious. Accessed 3 Dec. 2022.

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