Definition of false in English:

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Pronunciation: /fɔːls/
Pronunciation: /fɒls/


1Not according with truth or fact; incorrect: he was feeding false information to his customers the allegations were false
More example sentences
  • She lashed out at ‘certain media organisations [that] have distorted facts and spread false rumours’.
  • This study points out that most of the published results of medical research are, in fact, false.
  • We make no claim that something is incorrect, false, or erroneous.
incorrect, untrue, wrong, erroneous, fallacious, faulty, flawed, distorted, inaccurate, inexact, imprecise, invalid, unfounded;
untruthful, fictitious, concocted, fabricated, invented, made up, trumped up, unreal, counterfeit, forged, fraudulent, spurious, misleading, deceptive
1.1Not according with rules or law: false imprisonment
More example sentences
  • From what I'm hearing about the allegations, they don't mention anything about false imprisonment or kidnapping.
  • He was given a life sentence in March this year after pleading guilty to grievous bodily harm, false imprisonment and threats to kill.
  • She was charged with a felony count of false imprisonment and a gross misdemeanor count of criminal sexual conduct.
2Made to imitate something in order to deceive: the trunk had a false bottom a false passport
More example sentences
  • Its activists can hide themselves among the civilian population and, using false identities and fake passports, they can move easily across international borders.
  • A court heard how 30 fake Belgian and ten false French passports were found in the lining of a bag after Customs officers checked luggage off a flight from Zurich.
  • A bag stuffed with fake passports and false IDs found abandoned near Heathrow airport may be linked to West Yorkshire.
2.1Artificial: false eyelashes
More example sentences
  • A generation ago, women were asking each other why they were wasting half the day fitting corsets and false eyelashes, and the other half trying to perfect an orange souffle.
  • Cohen saw potential in a beauty parlour where women could get make-up done, have eyebrows plucked or false eyelash extensions applied.
  • Traditional false eyelashes are uncomfortable and difficult to apply.
fake, artificial, imitation, synthetic, simulated, reproduction, replica, ersatz, faux, plastic, man-made, dummy, mock, sham, bogus, so-called;
counterfeit, feigned, forged
informal phoney, pretend, pseudo
2.2Not sincere: a horribly false smile
More example sentences
  • I forced a smile, a lying, deceitful, false smile, as if that was the most ridiculous thing I had ever heard.
  • Faith said with false sympathy that sounded sincere.
  • Another small gem goes like this: ‘Resist whispered speech and false pleasant smiles when in the boss's company.’
3Illusory; not actually so: sunscreens give users a false sense of security
More example sentences
  • But the US vetoed the protocol, claiming that it would create a false sense of security while not actually catching cheats.
  • It's a false sense of security that they are actually holding on to.
  • We see people winning the game and losing, and those that think they are winning are fooled into a false security that actually makes them losers.
3.1 [attributive] Used in names of plants, animals, and gems that superficially resemble the thing properly so called, e.g. false oat.
Example sentences
  • Animals like the false killer whale and bottlenose dolphin show how much variety is possible by purely natural means.
  • Other plants are false nettle, a pink Saint-John's wort, and two species of white-flowered smartweeds.
  • Although suffering from an overabundance of names, false holly makes a handsome evergreen accent at the back of the border.
4Disloyal; unfaithful: a false lover
More example sentences
  • True in love ever be, unless thy lover's false to thee.
faithless, unfaithful, disloyal, untrue, inconstant, false-hearted, treacherous, traitorous, perfidious, two-faced, Janus-faced, double-dealing, double-crossing, deceitful, deceiving, deceptive, dishonourable, dishonest, duplicitous, hypocritical, untrustworthy, unreliable;
untruthful, lying, mendacious
informal cheating, two-timing, back-stabbing
rare hollow-hearted, double-faced


false position

A situation in which one is compelled to act in a manner inconsistent with one’s true nature or principles.
Example sentences
  • Has she been led into a false position by eager cynics who have sacrificed nothing and who would happily surrender unconditionally to the worst enemy that currently faces civilization?
  • It put them in a false position as they categorically denied the existence of any bonded labourers in those areas.
  • In any relationship there will be give and take, so you have to operate from a position of self awareness, or else you enter the give and take aspect from a false position and end up making decisions built on nonresistant values.



Example sentences
  • Publicity stunts, artificiality, falseness, popularity contests, and egos, leave me cold, in blogland as in life, and I feel that I don't want to be part of this at present.
  • If Rick hated anything, it was lies, dissembling, falseness, pretension.
  • The utter falseness and deception that pervade the campaigns of the two parties have imbued the proceedings with an air of unreality.


Old 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'.

  • Along with default (Middle English), fail (Middle English), and fault (Middle English), false comes from Latin fallere ‘to deceive’. A false dawn is a light which in Eastern countries is briefly seen about an hour before sunrise. The expression, the translation of an Arabic phrase, is often used to describe a promising situation which has, or is likely to, come to nothing.

Words that rhyme with false


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: false

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