from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Contrary to fact or truth.
  • adjective Deliberately untrue.
  • adjective Arising from mistaken ideas.
  • adjective Intentionally deceptive.
  • adjective Not keeping faith; treacherous: synonym: faithless.
  • adjective Not genuine or real.
  • adjective Erected temporarily, as for support during construction.
  • adjective Resembling but not accurately or properly designated as such.
  • adjective Music Of incorrect pitch.
  • adjective Unwise; imprudent.
  • adjective Computers Indicating one of two possible values taken by a variable in Boolean logic or a binary device.
  • adverb In a treacherous or faithless manner.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Additional; assistant; subsidiary; supplementary; temporary; used to supplement or temporarily displace something: as, the false work or supports for a bridge which is under construction.
  • Falsely.—To play false, to play one false
  • To mislead by falsehood; deceive; betray.
  • To defeat; balk; evade.
  • To violate by want of veracity; falsify.
  • To render false, treacherous, or dishonest.
  • To feign, as a blow; aim by way of a feint.
  • To be false; deceive; practise deceit.
  • Not in conformity with fact; expressing or comprising what is contrary to fact or truth; erroneous; untrue: as, a false report; a false accusation; a false opinion.
  • Giving utterance to what is not true; untruthful; mendacious: as, a false witness.
  • Perfidious; treacherous; unfaithful; inconstant; disloyal; dishonest; unjust: said of persons.
  • Containing or conveying deception, falsehood, or treachery; adapted or intended to mislead: said of things.
  • Irregular; not according to rule or usage: as, false syntax or quantity.
  • Not genuine; being other than it appears to be; not real; made in imitation, or to serve the purpose of the genuine article
  • with intent to defraud or deceive; spurious: as, false coin;
  • for the sake of mere appearance or for use or convenience; artificial: as, a false buttonhole; false teeth.
  • Technically, in botany and zoology, having some superficial resemblance to some other plant or animal: used like the Latin quasi-, or Greek pseudo-, in composition. See quasi-, pseudo-.
  • In music, not in tune; inaccurate in pitch; singing or playing out of tune.
  • In heraldry, open or voided: said of some bearings: as, a false cross; a false roundel (an annulet); a false escutcheon (a bordure, or sometimes an orle).
  • In fortification, an artificial mound or bank of earth forming part of a fortification.
  • noun A falsehood; that which is false.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adverb Not truly; not honestly; falsely.
  • transitive verb obsolete To report falsely; to falsify.
  • transitive verb obsolete To betray; to falsify.
  • transitive verb obsolete To mislead by want of truth; to deceive.
  • transitive verb obsolete To feign; to pretend to make.
  • adjective Uttering falsehood; unveracious; given to deceit; dishnest.
  • adjective Not faithful or loyal, as to obligations, allegiance, vows, etc.; untrue; treacherous; perfidious
  • adjective Not according with truth or reality; not true; fitted or likely to deceive or disappoint.
  • adjective Not genuine or real; assumed or designed to deceive; counterfeit; hypocritical
  • adjective Not well founded; not firm or trustworthy; erroneous
  • adjective Not essential or permanent, as parts of a structure which are temporary or supplemental.
  • adjective (Mus.) Not in tune.
  • adjective (Arch.) a member having the appearance of an arch, though not of arch construction.
  • adjective an architectural erection above the main cornice, concealing a roof, but not having windows or inclosing rooms.
  • adjective any bearing which is not directly upon a vertical support; thus, the weight carried by a corbel has a false bearing.
  • adjective an imperfect or interrupted cadence.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English fals, from Old English, counterfeit, and from Old French, false, both from Latin falsus, from past participle of fallere, to deceive.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English false, from Old English fals ("false, fraud, falsehood"), from Latin falsus ("counterfeit, false; falsehood"), perfect passive participle of fallō ("deceive"). Uncommon before the 12 century, the word was reinforced in Middle English by Norman fals (compare Old French faus), eventually displacing native Middle English les, lese ("false"), from Old English lēas; See lease, leasing.


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