From Middle English false, fals, from Old English fals (“false; counterfeit; fraudulent; wrong; mistaken”), from Latin falsus (“counterfeit, false; falsehood”), perfect passive participle of fallō (“deceive”). Reinforced in Middle English by Anglo-Norman and Old French fals, faus. Compare Scots fals, false, Saterland Frisian falsk, German falsch, Dutch vals, Swedish and Danish falsk; all from Latin falsus. Displaced native Middle English les, lese, from Old English lēas (“false”); See lease, leasing. Doublet of faux.
- (UK, General New Zealand, General Australian) IPA(key): /fɔːls/, /fɒls/
- (General American) IPA(key): /fɔls/, /fɑls/, [fɔlts], [fɑlts]
Audio (US) (file) Audio (UK) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɔːls, -ɒls
- Untrue, not factual, factually incorrect.
- 1551, James A.H. Murray, editor, A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles: Founded Mainly on the Materials Collected by the Philological Society], volume 1, Oxford: Clarendon Press, published 1888, Part 1, page 217, column 2:
- Also the rule of false position, with dyuers examples not onely vulgar, but some appertaynyng to the rule of Algeber.
- Based on factually incorrect premises.
- false legislation, false punishment
- Spurious, artificial.
- false teeth
- Uttering falsehood; dishonest or deceitful.
- a false witness
- Not faithful or loyal, as to obligations, allegiance, vows, etc.; untrue; treacherous.
- a false friend, lover, or subject; false to promises
- Not well founded; not firm or trustworthy; erroneous.
- a false conclusion; a false construction in grammar
- Not essential or permanent, as parts of a structure which are temporary or supplemental.
- Used in the vernacular name of a species (or group of species) together with the name of another species to which it is similar in appearance.
- false killer whale (a dolphin)
- (music) Out of tune.
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
- (electronics, telecommunications, of a decoder) To incorrectly decode noise as if it were a valid signal.
- (obsolete) To violate, to betray (a promise, an agreement, one’s faith, etc.).
- c. 1587–1588, [Christopher Marlowe], Tamburlaine the Great. […] The First Part […], part 1, 2nd edition, London: […] [R. Robinson for] Richard Iones, […], published 1592, OCLC 932920499; reprinted as Tamburlaine the Great (A Scolar Press Facsimile), Menston, Yorkshire; London: Scolar Press, 1973, →ISBN, Act II, scene ii:
- And he that could with giftes and promiſes,
Inueigle him that lead a thouſand horſe,
And make him falſe his faith vnto his King,
Will quickly win ſuch as be like himſelfe.
- (obsolete) To counterfeit, to forge.
- (obsolete) To make false, to corrupt from something true or real.
- In a dishonest and disloyal way; falsely.
false (plural falses)
- One of two options on a true-or-false test.
- The student received a failing grade for circling every true and false on her quiz.
false f pl
- false in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
- false in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition with additions by D. P. Carpenterius, Adelungius and others, edited by Léopold Favre, 1883–1887)
- false in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré Latin-Français, Hachette