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adj. fals·er, fals·est
1. Contrary to fact or truth: false tales of bravery.
2. Deliberately untrue: delivered false testimony under oath.
3. Arising from mistaken ideas: false hopes of writing a successful novel.
4. Intentionally deceptive: a suitcase with a false bottom; false promises.
5. Not keeping faith; treacherous: a false friend. See Synonyms at faithless.
6. Not genuine or real: false teeth; false documents.
7. Erected temporarily, as for support during construction.
8. Resembling but not accurately or properly designated as such: a false thaw in January; the false dawn peculiar to the tropics.
9. Music Of incorrect pitch.
10. Unwise; imprudent: Don't make a false move or I'll shoot.
11. Computers Indicating one of two possible values taken by a variable in Boolean logic or a binary device.
In a treacherous or faithless manner: play a person false.

[Middle English fals, from Old English, counterfeit, and from Old French, false, both from Latin falsus, from past participle of fallere, to deceive.]

false′ly adv.
false′ness n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


  1. Deceptive as a cat’s fur —Margaret Atwood
  2. Deceptive as a Venus flytrap —Vivian Raynor, New York Times, February 27, 1987

    Ms. Raynor’s simile refers to the fleeting and misleading resemblance of one artist’s work to another’s.

  3. Deceptive as new paint on a second-hand car —Herbert V. Prochnow
  4. False as a lead coin —George Garrett
  5. Falser than a weeping crocodile —John Dryden
  6. Falser than malice in the mouth of envy —Mary Pin
  7. Good and true as morning —Babs H. Deal
  8. Right as rain —William Raymond

    An older, less commonly used version from Shakespeare’s Richard III: “Right as snow in harvest.”

  9. Ring as true as chapel bells on a windless morning —Anon
  10. Ring true, like good china —Sylvia Plath
  11. True as life itself —Louis Bromfield
  12. True as the dial to the sun —Barton Booth
  13. (I found him large as life and) true as the needle to the pole —Henry James
  14. True as the sky is blue —James Reiss
  15. True as truth —Louis Bromfield
  16. The true is stripped from the false like bone from meat —George Garrett
Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.falseness - the state of being false or untrue; "argument could not determine its truth or falsity"
irreality, unreality - the state of being insubstantial or imaginary; not existing objectively or in fact
spuriousness - state of lacking genuineness
2.falseness - unfaithfulness by virtue of being unreliable or treacherous
infidelity, unfaithfulness - the quality of being unfaithful
3.falseness - the quality of not being open or truthful; deceitful or hypocritical
hypocrisy - insincerity by virtue of pretending to have qualities or beliefs that you do not really have
untruthfulness - the quality of being untruthful
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


[ˈfɔːlsnɪs] N
1. (= incorrectness) [of argument, claim] → falsedad f; [of assumption] → lo equivocado
2. (= insincerity) → falsedad f
3. (o.f.) (= disloyalty) [of friend] → deslealtad f, perfidia f; [of lover] → infidelidad f
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


(of statement etc)Unrichtigkeit f, → Falschheit f; (of promise)Unaufrichtigkeit f, → Falschheit f
(= artificiality: of pearls, eyelashes etc) → Unechtheit f
(= unfaithfulness: of lover etc) → Untreue f, → Treulosigkeit f
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ˈfɔːlsnɪs] nfalsità
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995
References in classic literature ?
But thou hast bound her fast to Falseness. Meed is gently born.
(which is this last degree) is a vice, using either of a natural falseness or fearfulness, or of a mind that hath some main faults, which because a man must needs disguise, it maketh him practise simulation in other things, lest his hand should be out of use.
All memory of the past, all thought of the future, all sense of the falseness and hopelessness of my own position, lay hushed within me into deceitful rest.
He was treated with a solemn respect accorded in the irreverent West only to the monarchs of the stage, and he accepted the profound homage with a sustained dignity seen nowhere else but behind the footlights and in the condensed falseness of some grossly tragic situation.
Whenever Hayward said something which was illogical, Weeks in a few words would show the falseness of his reasoning, pause for a moment to enjoy his triumph, and then hurry on to another subject as though Christian charity impelled him to spare the vanquished foe.
Do not will anything beyond your power: there is a bad falseness in those who will beyond their power.
I believe that if I am doing what seems so bad, it is not mere weakness and falseness. Mr.
Brought up as a Corsican, Ginevra was, in some sense, a child of Nature; falseness was a thing unknown to her; she gave herself up without reserve to her impressions; she acknowledged them, or, rather, allowed them to be seen without the affectations of petty and calculating coquetry, characteristic of Parisian girlhood.
'This is the hend, is it?' continued Miss Squeers, who, being excited, aspirated her h's strongly; 'this is the hend, is it, of all my forbearance and friendship for that double-faced thing--that viper, that--that--mermaid?' (Miss Squeers hesitated a long time for this last epithet, and brought it out triumphantly as last, as if it quite clinched the business.) 'This is the hend, is it, of all my bearing with her deceitfulness, her lowness, her falseness, her laying herself out to catch the admiration of vulgar minds, in a way which made me blush for my--for my--'
Vanborough was tall and dark--a dashing, handsome man; with an energy in his face which all the world saw; with an inbred falseness under it which only a special observer could detect.
The thorough falseness of the position weighed on them both.
After that proof of your horrible falseness and cunning, I tore up my letter.