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 (“false”), from Old English lēas; See lease, leasing.
- (UK, New Zealand, Australia) IPA(key): /fɔːls/, /fɒls/
- (General American) IPA(key): /fɔls/, /fɑls/
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- 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:
- 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.
1907, Robert W[illiam] Chambers, “chapter VIII”, in The Younger Set (Project Gutenberg; EBook #14852), New York, N.Y.: A. L. Burt Company, published 1 February 2005 (Project Gutenberg version), OCLC 4241346:
- At her invitation he outlined for her the succeeding chapters with terse military accuracy; and what she liked best and best understood was avoidance of that false modesty which condescends, turning technicality into pabulum.
- (logic) Of a state in Boolean logic that indicates a negative result.
- 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
- John Milton (1608-1674)
- I to myself was false, ere thou to me.
- Not well founded; not firm or trustworthy; erroneous.
a false conclusion; a false construction in grammar
- Edmund Spenser (c.1552–1599)
- whose false foundation waves have swept away
- Not essential or permanent, as parts of a structure which are temporary or supplemental.
- (music) Out of tune.
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- Not truly; not honestly; falsely.
- You play me false.
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, 1883–1887)
- Félix Gaffiot (1934), Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français, Paris: Hachette, s.v. “false”.