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 counterfeit on Wikipedia


Anglo-Norman countrefait, from Old French contrefait.



counterfeit (not comparable)

  1. False, especially of money; intended to deceive or carry appearance of being genuine.
    This counterfeit watch looks like the real thing, but it broke a week after I bought it.
  2. Inauthentic.
    counterfeit sympathy
  3. Assuming the appearance of something; deceitful; hypocritical.
    • Shakespeare
      an arrant counterfeit rascal




counterfeit (plural counterfeits)

  1. A non-genuine article; a fake.
    • c.1597 William Shakespeare, Henry IV part I, Act II, scene 4:
      Never call a true piece of gold a counterfeit.
    • Macaulay
      Some of these counterfeits are fabricated with such exquisite taste and skill, that it is the achievement of criticism to distinguish them from originals.
  2. One who counterfeits; a counterfeiter.
  3. (obsolete) That which resembles another thing; a likeness; a portrait; a counterpart.
    • William Shakespeare, Timon of Athens
      Thou drawest a counterfeit / Best in all Athens.
    • 1590Edmund Spenser, Faerie Queene Book III, canto VIII:
      Even Nature's self envied the same, / And grudged to see the counterfeit should shame / The thing itself.
  4. (obsolete) An impostor; a cheat.
    • c.1597 William Shakespeare, Henry IV part I, Act V, scene 4
      I fear thou art another counterfeit; / And yet, in faith, thou bear'st thee like a king.



counterfeit (third-person singular simple present counterfeits, present participle counterfeiting, simple past and past participle counterfeited)

  1. (transitive) To falsely produce what appears to be official or valid; to produce a forged copy of.
    to counterfeit the signature of another, coins, notes, etc.
  2. (transitive, obsolete) To produce a faithful copy of.
    • 2008, Michael Gaudio, Engraving the savage: the New World and techniques of civilization, page xii:
      The title page of White's original album includes a descriptive title page that identifies the contents as “the pictures of sondry things collected and counterfeited according to the truth,"
  3. (transitive, obsolete) To feign; to mimic.
    to counterfeit the voice of another person
    • Oliver Goldsmith, The Village Schoolmaster
      Full well they laughed with counterfeited glee / At all his jokes, for many a joke had he.
    • I again conveyed his key into his pocket, and counterfeiting sleep—though I never once closed my eyes, lay in bed till after he arose and went to prayers—an exercise to which I had long been unaccustomed.
  4. (transitive, poker, usually "be counterfeited") Of a turn or river card, to invalidate a player's hand by making a better hand on the board.

Derived terms[edit]


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