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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.
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2. A show or expression of feelings or beliefs one does not actually hold or possess:
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.
References in periodicals archive ?
The truth is that the phoniness of their fiscal posturing should have been obvious all along.
One story he told, showed the phoniness of Hollywood and how strange actors can be.
Beltway insiders know that there is no such place as "Khashoggi Way." The signs are phony, remnants of an information operation targeting the White Housein this case, Donald Trump's Middle East policies, which, at least, seek to point out the phoniness and ineptitude of his predecessor, who set the region on fire while claiming, in a holier-than-thou voice, to bring peace.
Juries may struggle with the complexities of a case, but they can be pretty good at spotting phoniness. Your goal is to be the best "you" that you can be, not to pretend to be someone else.
If there is one thing you can usually rely on folk from the other side of the world to detect, it is phoniness.
The condition, first defined in 1978, refers to the feeling of phoniness in people who believe they are not intelligent, capable or creative despite evidence of high achievement, Cnet reported.
"If you're a leader in this community, Mayor Pradel set the example, and there was no phoniness, no agendas.
While it notes that 'birds of the same feathers flock together,' the former ruling party also observes that 'the fact that President Buhari comfortably surrounds himself with persons indicted for corruption, sundry frauds, common scams, as well as forgeries, is very revealing on the phoniness of his administration's fight against corruption.' The party believes that Buhari has no other explanation for engaging and rewarding corrupt individuals as ministers, including a certain individual whose state's judicial panel of inquiry had, in 2015, issued a government white paper indicting him of looting over N90 billion through alleged illegal sale of the assets belonging to the state.
"The conspicuous problem which emerges through this narrative concerns character formation: what happens when the phoniness Adam detects in others' tastes extends to the tastes of people he values?" asked the Literateur critic.
Perceived phoniness would undermine confidence For example, if you're a social media agency and your whole business is based on helping customers to get the best impact online, you need to ensure '' that your own presence is as good (if not better) than what you offer your customers.
It isn't rah-rah phoniness that your interviewer is hoping to hear.
Every year around this time LHHNY is about to air, all the phoniness come out," she wrote in a lengthy post accusing them of not being present in her son's life.