Definition of false adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//fɔːls//
    ; NAmE NAmE//fɔːls//
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    not true
  1. 1  wrong; 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.
  2. not natural
  3. 2  not natural synonym artificial false teeth/eyelashes a false beard
  4. not genuine
  5. 3  not genuine, but made to look real to cheat people a false passport
  6. not sincere
  7. 4(of people’s behaviour) not real or sincere false modesty She flashed him a false smile of congratulation. See related entries: Dishonest
  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 somebody into a false sense of security (= make somebody 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. Word OriginOld English fals ‘fraud, deceit’, from Latin falsum ‘fraud’, neuter past participle of fallere ‘deceive’; reinforced or re-formed in Middle English from Old French fals, faus ‘false’. Synonymsartificialsynthetic false man-made fake 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 with synthetic solesfalse not natural:false teeth a false beard man-made made by people; not natural:man-made fibres such as nylonfake made to look like something else; not real:a fake-fur jacketimitation [only before noun] made to look like something else; not real:She would never wear imitation pearls.Patterns artificial/​synthetic/​man-made fabrics/​fibres/​materials/​products artificial/​synthetic/​fake/​imitation fur/​leather artificial/​synthetic/​false/​fake/​imitation diamonds/​pearlsExtra examples Helen’s voice sounded slightly false. Lagos is the capital of Nigeria. True or false? She managed a horribly false smile. The gossip about her later proved to be entirely false. The law can punish knowingly false statements. Their claim was patently false. This claim is simply false. Buying a cheap computer is a false economy. Come on—this is no time for false modesty. He had been travelling with a false passport. His argument is based on the false assumption that all women want children. I don’t want to raise any false hopes, but I think he’s still alive. Predictions of an early improvement in the housing market proved false. She gave a tinkly little laugh, which sounded horribly false even to her own ears. The case had a false bottom where documents or even a small radio could be hidden. The couple had given the false impression of a blissfully happy marriage. Those who were thought to hold false beliefs were persecuted. We had been lulled into a false sense of security. a false beard and moustache false teeth/​eyelashesIdioms
    by/under/on false pretences
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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 pretences.
    to give the impression of being sincere/true or not sincere/true It may seem a strange story but it rings true to me.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: false