Also found in: Thesaurus, Idioms.


also pho·ney  (fō′nē)
adj. pho·ni·er, pho·ni·est
1. Not genuine or real; sham or counterfeit: a phony credit card; a phony beard.
2. Spurious, deceptive, or false: a phony excuse.
3. Fraudulent, deceitful, or dishonest: a phony expert in investing.
n. pl. pho·nies also pho·neys
1. A fraudulent or dishonest person.
2. Something that is not genuine; a fake.

[Alteration of fawney, gilt brass ring used by swindlers, from Irish Gaelic fáinne, ring, from Old Irish.]

pho′ni·ly adv.
pho′ni·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.


informal in a phoney manner
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in periodicals archive ?
Keep it active and brief, so the actors can perform naturally, instead of (phonily) artistically-with similarly believable and dynamic direction for good, organic measure!
Florence gets an eleventh-hour confessional as woundingly acted as it is phonily written.
Recently, he revealed that Bush was guilty of the very accounting shenanigans he was phonily condemning corporations such as Enron and WorldCom for using.