: not genuine : counterfeit, sham
Did You Know?
You may know "bogus" as a slang word meaning "uncool" or simply "no good," but did you know that "bogus" has actually been a part of English since the early 1800s? Not only was the word coined then, it was actually doing some coining of its own, so to speak. Back then, a "bogus" was a machine used to make counterfeit coins. No one knows for sure how this coin-copying contraption got its name, but before long "bogus" had also become a popular noun for funny money itself or for a fraudulent imitation of any kind. The more general "phony" adjective followed shortly thereafter.
Kelly knew that the letter informing her that she was a grand prize winner was bogus, so she threw it in the trash immediately.
"The scheme appears aimed at getting the food business operator to make a confirmation phone call that would allow others to create a false identity and set up an auction site on the Internet to sell bogus items." -- From an article by Larry Carson in The Baltimore Sun, November 2, 2010
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Name That Synonym
What word meaning "not genuine" originated as an alteration of "Birmingham," a city in England that was once notorious for the manufacture of counterfeit coins? The answer is ...
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