Definition of spurious in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈsp(y)o͝orēəs/


1Not being what it purports to be; false or fake: separating authentic and spurious claims
More example sentences
  • The IIF estimates that fraudulent and spurious claims will cost insurers at least €100 million this year but policy holders will pick up the tab in increased premiums.
  • The government has an obligation to act against spurious or fraudulent claims.
  • People are entitled to compensation when they are injured, but we need to weed out the spurious claims.
bogus, fake, false, counterfeit, forged, fraudulent, sham, artificial, imitation, simulated, feigned, deceptive, misleading, specious
informal phony, pretend
1.1(Of a line of reasoning) apparently but not actually valid: this spurious reasoning results in nonsense
More example sentences
  • Unfortunately, some creationists have also fallen for this spurious line of reasoning.
  • It seems a completely spurious line of argument.
  • Magistrates will come down on the side of the tenant for the most spurious reasons.
1.2 archaic (Of offspring) illegitimate.
Example sentences
  • The husband's adultery…may give him a spurious son, by some wanton, on whom he lavishes the patrimony of his legitimate sons.



Pronunciation: /ˈsp(y)o͝orēəslē/
Example sentences
  • He was Clement Moore, who would one day enter history (perhaps spuriously, a recent scholar contends) as the author of ‘The Night Before Christmas.’
  • Most independent advisers simply look at how funds have performed in the past, arguing - somewhat spuriously - that if a manager has outperformed his peers over the past few years, there is no reason why he or she can't continue to do so.
  • An early study by Logan reported a 90% rate (although, as discussed below, that rate may be spuriously high).


Pronunciation: /ˈsp(y)o͝orēəsnəs/
Example sentences
  • They were laughably crude with obvious misspellings and badly formed HTML, often directing receivers to poorly drawn counterfeit web sites that gave many visual and technical clues to their spuriousness.
  • The spuriousness of his Hebrew etymologies suggests, but does not prove, that he did not know Hebrew.


Late 16th century (in the sense 'born out of wedlock'): from Latin spurius 'false' + -ous.

  • ‘Born out of wedlock, bastard’ was the early sense of spurious based on Latin spurius ‘false’. The sense became generalized to ‘of doubtful origin’ by the beginning of the 17th century.

Words that rhyme with spurious

curious, furious, injurious, luxurious, penurious, perjurious, sulphureous (US sulfureous), usurious

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: spu·ri·ous

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