Definition of counterfeit in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkaʊntəfɪt/


1Made in exact imitation of something valuable with the intention to deceive or defraud: counterfeit £10 notes
More example sentences
  • Jenn, there is no way you would be able to tell me that this wasn't a counterfeit bill.
  • UK computer retailers are warned today of a sophisticated new scam involving counterfeit cheques.
  • ‘Most companies are fully willing to help identify counterfeiters, counterfeit goods and to provide testimony in court,’ Harris said.
fake, faked, copied, forged, feigned, simulated, sham, spurious, bogus, imitation, substitute, dummy, ersatz
informal knock-off, pirate, pirated, phoney, pseud, pseudo
British informal, dated cod
1.1Pretended; sham: a counterfeit image of reality
More example sentences
  • The counterfeit nature of Modernism's dream of freedom is written into the dream's realization.
  • These are the 22-minute sitcom's ‘serious’ interludes, usually signified by fifteen seconds unbroken by a counterfeit laugh.
  • Leave it to Hollywood to trim the truth for the sake of counterfeit sentiment and narrative noodling.


A fraudulent imitation of something else: he knew the tapes to be counterfeits
More example sentences
  • Most holiday-makers today know that coins, antiques and other objects of fine arts offered on the streets or found in markets are counterfeits or nice imitations.
  • First, McConnell openly criticised the Chancellor's decision to force whisky producers to introduce security seals as protection against counterfeits and smuggling.
  • The public should feel proud of refusing counterfeits and buying copyrighted products.
fake, forgery, copy, reproduction, replica, imitation, likeness, lookalike, mock-up, dummy, substitute, fraud, sham
informal phoney, pirate, knock-off, rip-off, put-on, dupe


[with object]
1Imitate fraudulently: my signature is extremely hard to counterfeit
More example sentences
  • The idea is to prevent large-scale piracy operations from thieves who counterfeit Symantec programs and offer them to customers on the Web.
  • It has successfully prosecuted all kinds of card fraudsters but has particularly focused on the scams carried out by counterfeiting gangs who often run sophisticated factory-style operations.
  • Would a nationally-issued identity document solve the problem of identity-related fraud, or would this be just another document that could be counterfeited and abused by fraudsters?
fake, forge, copy, reproduce, replicate, imitate, simulate, feign, falsify, sham
informal pirate
1.1Pretend to feel or possess (an emotion or quality): no pretence could have counterfeited such terror
More example sentences
  • You guys do the best at counterfeiting friendship.
  • Abigail, the daughter of Barabas, having counterfeited a religious vocation in order to help her father recover his money, eventually becomes a nun.
  • It is the taint of Eton that makes him ineligible to lead the Tory Party, in the view of some who believe that counterfeiting Blairism is the road to power.
1.2 literary Resemble closely: sleep counterfeited Death so well



Pronunciation: /ˈkaʊntəfɪtə/
Example sentences
  • People's unfamiliarity with the new money is likely to attract counterfeiters and fraudsters.
  • The law was drawn up to target professional pirates, criminals and counterfeiters who make copies of goods such as football shirts or CDs.
  • Inadequate penalties will not deter pirates and counterfeiters - they will only ensure that such piracy will become more serious.


Middle English (as a verb): from Anglo-Norman French countrefeter, from Old French contrefait, past participle of contrefaire, from Latin contra- 'in opposition' + facere 'make'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: coun¦ter|feit

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