Definition of counterfeit in English:


Syllabification: coun·ter·feit
Pronunciation: /ˈkountərˌfit


  • 1Made in exact imitation of something valuable or important with the intention to deceive or defraud: two men were remanded on bail on a charge of passing counterfeit $10 bills
    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.
  • 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.


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  • A fraudulent imitation of something else; a forgery: 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, imitation; fraud, sham
    informal phony, knockoff


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  • 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, imitate
  • 1.1Pretend to feel or possess (an emotion or quality): no pretense 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



More 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'.

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