(also phoney) informal
adjective (phonier, phoniest)
Not genuine; fraudulent: I thought your accent was a bit phony
More example sentences
- The 1990s was a decade of fraudulent privatisations, phony education and poverty alleviating campaigns.
- So what touchstone can we use to distinguish genuine from phoney forwardists?
- Sadly, phoney clinics offer spurious tests which will diagnose allergies in virtually anybody.
bogus, false, fake, fraudulent, spurious;
counterfeit, forged, feigned;
pseudo, imitation, sham, man-made, mock, ersatz, synthetic, artificial;
simulated, pretended, contrived, affected, insincere, inauthentic
informal pretend, put-on
noun (plural phonies)
A fraudulent person or thing.
- I'm a fake, a phony, a fraud, an impostor, and a charlatan of the worse degree.
- Veterans call them by all sorts of names: phonies, fakes, imposters, wannabes.
- Why are you playing the edges; why bother to debunk, why spend your time exposing people that are outright frauds, phonies, or who are merely self deluded?
- Example sentences
- In the interview, he phonily claims he ‘just wanted to have fun tonight.’
- The newspaper's editorial asserts that the Oklahoma City bomber's comments reveal ‘a mind warped by self-induced militancy and by a detached, phonily objective language of profit and loss.’
- ‘You wish he was’ Laena said, smiling phonily at Cam.
- Example sentences
- Holden Caulfield, the hero of JD Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, was its Shakespeare, articulating its half-formed hatred and its simmering resentment of phoniness.
- The message has adolescence in it - he is dealing with questions of sincerity and phoniness - but the technique is, at the end of it, subtly mature.
- It all smacks of phoniness and opportunism to me.
Late 19th century: of unknown origin.
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