American English

Definition of false adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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    not true
  1. 1wrong; not correct or true A whale is a fish. True or false? Predictions of an early improvement in the housing market proved false. She gave false information to the insurance company. He used a false name to get the job. synonyms at wrong
  2. not natural
  3. 2not natural false teeth/eyelashes a false beard Thesaurusartificialsynthetic fake man-made false faux imitationThese words all describe things that are not real, or not naturally produced or grown.artificial made or produced to copy something natural; not real:artificial flowers artificial lightsynthetic made by combining chemical substances rather than being produced naturally by plants or animals:synthetic drugs shoes made of synthetic materialfake (sometimes disapproving) made to look like something else; not genuine:a fake designer watch a fake beard a fake-fur jacketman-made made by people; not natural:man-made fibers such as nylon a man-made lakefalse (somewhat formal) not natural; not genuine, but made to look real to cheat people:false teeth/eyelashes a suitcase with a false bottomfaux not natural, but made to look or seem real:chairs covered in faux leopard skinimitation [only before noun] made to look like something else; not real:She would never wear imitation pearls.Patterns artificial/synthetic/man-made fabrics/fibers/materials/products artificial/synthetic/fake/faux/imitation fur/leather/diamonds/pearls
  4. not genuine
  5. 3not genuine, but made to look real to cheat people a false passport
  6. not sincere
  7. 4(of people's behavior) not real or sincere false modesty She flashed him a false smile of congratulation.
  8. wrong/mistaken
  9. 5[usually before noun] wrong or mistaken, because it is based on something that is not true or correct a false argument/assumption/belief to give a false impression of wealth to lull someone into a false sense of security (= make someone feel safe when they are really in danger) They didn't want to raise any false hopes, but they believed her husband had escaped capture. Buying a cheap computer is a false economy (= will not actually save you money).
  10. not faithful
  11. 6(literary) (of people) not faithful a false lover
  12. Thesauruswrongfalse mistaken incorrect inaccurate misguided untrueThese words all describe something that is not right or correct, or someone who is not right about something.wrong not right or correct; (of a person) not right about something:I got all the answers wrong. We were wrong to assume that she'd agree.false not true or correct; wrong because it is based on something that is not true or correct:A whale is a fish. True or false? She gave false information to the insurance company.mistaken wrong in your opinion or judgment; based on a wrong opinion or bad judgment:You're completely mistaken about Jane.incorrect (somewhat formal) wrong according to the facts; containing mistakes:Many of the statistics were incorrect.inaccurate wrong according to the facts; containing mistakes:The report was badly researched and fairly inaccurate.incorrect or inaccurate?A fact, figure, or spelling that is wrong is incorrect; information, a belief, or a description based on incorrect facts can be incorrect or inaccurate; something that is produced, such as a film, report, or map, that contains incorrect facts is inaccurate.misguided wrong because you have understood or judged a situation badly:In her misguided attempts to help, she only made the situation worse.untrue not based on facts, but invented or guessed:These accusations are totally untrue.Patterns to be wrong/mistaken about something wrong/false/mistaken/incorrect/inaccurate information a(n) false/mistaken/incorrect/inaccurate/misguided belief a(n) wrong/incorrect answerIdioms
    by/under/on false pretenses
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    by pretending to be something that you are not, in order to gain some advantage for yourself She was accused of obtaining money under false pretenses.
    ring true/hollow/false
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    to give the impression of being sincere/true or not sincere/true It may seem like a strange story but it rings true to me.
adverb to be falsely accused of something She smiled falsely at his joke.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: false