Main definitions of fake in English

: fake1fake2



  • 1Not genuine; imitation or counterfeit.

    ‘she got on the plane with a fake passport’
    ‘a fake Cockney accent’
    • ‘You don't have to bow to peer pressure and get fake designer handbag.’
    • ‘Successful carriers head to cities like Vienna or Amsterdam to exchange fake bills for genuine euros or to secure loans they have no intention of repaying.’
    • ‘Customs officers displayed scores of counterfeit shirts along with fake CDs, DVDs and designer handbags.’
    • ‘In Japan, counterfeiters are circulating fake bills that cost more to make than their face value.’
    • ‘We also provide enforcement agencies with training as to how to determine fake goods from genuine ones.’
    • ‘While fake shoes might not be as deadly as fake drugs, counterfeiting meant Indonesia had lost potential markets that could have employed millions of workers, he said.’
    • ‘You see them on lots of New York City street corners: counterfeit T-shirts, bootleg DVDs, fake designer handbags.’
    • ‘I think wearing fake designer merchandise is so dishonest and insincere.’
    • ‘Their smiles weren't the fake smiles produced so often for cameras, but genuine grins of joy.’
    • ‘The use of fake and counterfeit drugs in Africa has led to predictably tragic consequences.’
    • ‘As a Christian, I accept as a basic premise of our faith that men are liars and many claims of levitation are fake.’
    • ‘This muscle is not easily brought under voluntary control, which is why it is usually quite easy to tell a genuine smile from a fake one.’
    • ‘This fake show of emotion is embarrassing and entirely unjustified.’
    • ‘The total value of the counterfeit goods, which also included fake clothing, was more than 60,000.’
    • ‘While software had previously been able to detect and reject fake notes, counterfeiters had now evidently become more sophisticated and could fool the system.’
    • ‘The labels on the men's fake designer T-shirts mock their desperate circumstances.’
    • ‘Each year dozens of newspapers around the country parrot the report's fake pollution claims without any critical review.’
    • ‘His son, Gary, who initially said the signatures on the documents were his father's, now claims that the memos are fake.’
    • ‘I couldn't tell if it was a fake smile or a genuine one.’
    • ‘All ethical aspects aside, fake designer shoes won't do your feet any good.’
    forgery, counterfeit, copy, sham, fraud, hoax, imitation, mock-up, dummy, reproduction, lookalike, likeness
    counterfeit, forged, fraudulent, sham, imitation, false, bogus, spurious, pseudo
    imitation, artificial, synthetic, simulated, reproduction, replica, ersatz, plastic, man-made, dummy, false, mock, sham, bogus, so-called
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (of a person) claiming to be something that one is not.
      ‘a fake doctor’
      • ‘Tom Cruise went off on a fake reporter for a new British prank show, after the reporter allegedly doused the movie star with a squirt gun disguised as a microphone.’
      • ‘Just two weeks ago, Columbia got in trouble for manufacturing a fake movie critic, and now they have been caught manufacturing fake audience members.’
      • ‘He cautioned people, particularly those from outside Hyderabad, to be wary of fake doctors claiming to administer the fish medicine.’
      • ‘It would be months before the doctor crossed paths with the fake lawyer Goldstein.’
      • ‘Benjamin dupes the canny general with fake prisoners, thereby gaining release of about 20 of his followers being held for execution.’
      charlatan, quack, mountebank, sham, fraud, humbug, impostor, pretender, masquerader, hoodwinker, hoaxer, cheat, cheater, deceiver, dissembler, trickster, confidence trickster, fraudster
      View synonyms


  • 1A thing that is not genuine; a forgery or sham.

    ‘fakes of Old Masters’
    • ‘A gem-collector friend of mine claims he can tell if a diamond is a fake from twenty paces.’
    • ‘The subject of fakes, forgeries and deceptions is intriguing enough by itself to pique the curiosity of those who have only a passing interest in the world of art and antiques.’
    • ‘Many are fakes, but genuine artefacts are looted or dug up by treasure seekers.’
    • ‘Most of us are aware that there are such things as fakes, forgeries, copies and reproductions.’
    • ‘Microsoft promises to acknowledge receipt within two days, and will let the customer know whether the software is genuine or a fake.’
    • ‘These documents have proved to be forgeries and accepted as fakes by Washington and the IAEA.’
    • ‘Jewelry is also a good buy in India, but again, beware of fakes and frauds.’
    • ‘He bought many of Little's pieces to demonstrate how similar to genuine objects fakes could be.’
    • ‘Since both works were hoaxes and fakes, we were told that neither work was literature.’
    • ‘Turner's claims are not the first concerning possible fakes at the museum.’
    • ‘The obscenely high price of mahogany woods and precious metals prevented counterfeiters from producing fakes, the profit of such operations being next to nil.’
    • ‘In addition, the company also produced a complicated series of innovations to help consumers recognize the difference between fakes and genuine items.’
    • ‘In addition to finding counterfeits, fakes and forgeries, they also find individuals using artists' names to generate sales.’
    • ‘There are a number of situations that present potential liability for artists, galleries and publishers in the area of fakes, forgeries and stolen art.’
    • ‘When they are unemployed, or working for a tiny salary, some resort to producing fakes for organised crime gangs.’
    • ‘If museums and established auction houses can mistake fakes for genuine articles, so can you.’
    • ‘As he points out, faking often occurs in waves, and when this happens it is easy to mistake the older fakes for the genuine article, or at least view them with greater sympathy.’
    • ‘All his life, Frank fought neo-Nazi claims that the diary was a fake.’
    • ‘Provenance is also important because there are so many fakes and forgeries in the market, as well as a wealth of items illegally excavated and exported.’
    • ‘The ball was a fake, she claimed, as she had the real one right there next to her in her Dallas home.’
    forgery, counterfeit, copy, sham, fraud, hoax, imitation, mock-up, dummy, reproduction, lookalike, likeness
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A person who falsely claims to be something.
      ‘I felt sure that some of the nuns were fakes’
      • ‘The more they appear as fakes and liars, the more they will resort to naked political power in pursuit of their goals.’
      • ‘Most of the time, you can spot a fake from a genuine beggar.’
      • ‘Perhaps KB the wise old bird saw through the manipulation and the scheming of the pretenders, fakes, and exploiters, and was determined to keep the wolves away.’
      • ‘The internet is vastly growing into a pool of professional fakes and scammers.’
      • ‘She was immediately labelled a fake, but Lavigne never claimed to be a pop rebel - she was just an ordinary girl from Napanee, Ontario.’
      • ‘Many thought that he was a fake, merely claiming to be the prince to gain power.’
      • ‘I am sad when I think of the original Santaji, they must have killed him or kidnapped him or hidden him somewhere and all of these fakes are going around claiming to be him.’
      • ‘We have to get the cowboys, the fakes, the frauds, the thieves, the incompetent, the irresponsible, and the greedy out of the immigration loop in terms of people wishing to come to this nation.’
      • ‘One other thing I took out of the film was that here was someone shown to some extent to be a fake, he was pretending to be an Indian, and I took a broader lesson.’
      • ‘Then the students were asked to estimate how many so-called psychics were really fakes using magician's tricks.’
      charlatan, quack, mountebank, sham, fraud, humbug, impostor, pretender, masquerader, hoodwinker, hoaxer, cheat, cheater, deceiver, dissembler, trickster, confidence trickster, fraudster
      View synonyms


[with object]
  • 1Forge or counterfeit (something)

    ‘she faked her spouse's signature’
    • ‘There are all sorts of reasons why documents might be faked and we should expect that many of them will be.’
    • ‘You'd wonder why somebody would go to the lengths to fake something like this.’
    • ‘After 1918 old glass, especially Irish, started to make high premiums and it began to be faked.’
    • ‘He argues that the real pirates are the crime syndicates making fake CDs and selling them, but that those who use file sharing are getting all of the attention.’
    • ‘The move to tighten the vetting process was taken after news that 10 of the 12 Spanish learning difficulties basketball team at the 2000 Sydney Olympics were faking their conditions.’
    • ‘He later confessed to his deceptive scheme, telling police he wanted to fake the insurance claim and use the money to finance another trip back to Thailand.’
    • ‘I meant that Burberry is so popular it has started being faked and made badly!’
    • ‘The stories make it clear that the guns have been registered to the defendant, and the original picture we see of him is supposed to have come off his gun licence, but these things can be lied about or faked.’
    • ‘Designed when the Net was small, they allow spammers to cover their tracks by forging headers, faking domain names, and bouncing e-mails off servers across the globe.’
    • ‘The forms needed to be signed by someone authorised by the hospital such as a doctor - but these signatures were faked, the court heard.’
    • ‘I'm tired of explaining myself, of being told I'm this, I'm that, faking a persona, assuming another name, another identity.’
    • ‘For instance, Magdalena de la Cruz confessed, during a serious illness in 1543, that her stigmata had been faked.’
    • ‘Data can be faked, and there are mechanisms in place to deal with that.’
    • ‘After the death of his wife, Thomas faked a will in her name to avoid certain legal complications.’
    • ‘Chinese counterfeiters, in one instance, have faked an American company's entire product line, right down to its Web site.’
    • ‘Is faking a doctoral degree by a minister of government less worthy of dismissal?’
    • ‘Although he's supposed to be English, he doesn't try to fake the accent, which somehow works in his favour.’
    • ‘During an appeal hearing against the fine it was uncovered that one of the pictures had been faked and the date changed.’
    • ‘The book treated in colourful detail the supposed survival into modern times of dinosaurs and ape-men - and included a tantalising line about bones being as easy to fake as a photograph.’
    • ‘Within ten years of Vincent van Gogh's death in 1890, his paintings and drawings were being faked, and forgeries continue to distort our understanding of his work.’
    forge, counterfeit, falsify, sham, feign, mock up, copy, reproduce, replicate
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    1. 1.1 Pretend to feel or have (an emotion, illness, or injury)
      ‘Rob faked suspicion, a jealous concern’
      • ‘There are clearly ways in which the law could be tightened to prevent offenders, at least within Australia, from making a joke of the criminal justice system by faking or exaggerating illness.’
      • ‘Sometimes, I even faked being happy if I felt the producer was trying to get me to say something bad.’
      • ‘We need to trust people to enter into social, emotional and, for that matter, business dealings with them and you can't trust someone who is faking.’
      • ‘Would she still love me if she knew I had faked injury to profit from the only pub in town that still had not altered its written rules to address my behavior?’
      • ‘The clear intimation in one published column was that the team believed he was faking an injury and that he feared an opponent.’
      • ‘You know how some people will fake illness or injury to get out of doing something they don't want to do?’
      • ‘The difficulty for doctors is to identify those that are faking, and those that are genuinely unwell.’
      • ‘Threatened with being thrown back into the world when the insurance money runs out, she fakes multiple personality disorder.’
      • ‘If they smack themselves, they're most likely unconscious; if not, they're faking.’
      • ‘I am tempted to fake a leg injury - a phantom hernia - but in the end, decide to run too.’
      • ‘Although, you know, again, when Scott does show signs of emotion, when he breaks down, the suggestion now is made that somehow he's faking or it may be orchestrated by his defense team.’
      • ‘Turkey is outraged as a top player faces £1,000 fine for faking injury.’
      • ‘In college she protested the war in Vietnam, but when she was in danger of committing a crime, her father called her to his bedside by faking a heart condition while he arranged to have her radical friends arrested.’
      • ‘I just couldn't fake liking movies I think are dumb.’
      • ‘The staff still thought she was faking; several girls recall them laughing and telling jokes as Gina lay on the ground.’
      • ‘Later that evening she opens them with a kind of controlled hysteria that I'm convinced is completely faked.’
      • ‘We need a passion that is not faked, but one that belongs to a woman who dares to admit that she wants her place in the land of the glamour and beauty.’
      • ‘If he'd taken it, I wouldn't have had to fake that seizure.’
      • ‘It was always about pretending, and faking, and concealing feelings.’
      • ‘They faked being hurt and then threw grenades at Marines who approached to provide medical treatment.’
      feigned, faked, put-on, assumed, improvised, invented, affected, pseudo, insincere, unconvincing, artificial, imitation, mock, sham
      feign, pretend, simulate, sham, put on, make-believe, affect
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 Make (an event) appear to happen.
      ‘he faked his own death’
      • ‘However the fact that he emptied the joint bank account, remortgaged the house and left some unanswered questions relating to the proceeds of a charity fundraising event, suggests his disappearance may have been faked.’
      • ‘But if it is, the protesters have gone to great lengths in their subterfuge: faking riots, dressing as police officers, hiring horses, releasing tear-gas canisters.’
      • ‘Jim had faked his death by appearing to drown off the coast of Miami, knowing his death would be reported and that his wife would make a claim on his life assurance policy.’
      • ‘Only his death will be faked, and word will be sent that he died at the claws of a vicious sand dragon!’
      • ‘The suspicion that the emperor's death had been faked gained more and more adherents.’
      • ‘The second features how-to instructions for faking one's death using various roots & berries.’
      feign, pretend, simulate, sham, put on, make-believe, affect
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3fake someone outNorth American informal Trick or deceive someone.
      • ‘He may be able to fake you out to some extent, but there's no way he could know all the details.’
      • ‘Sadly, the movie's ending fakes us out and along comes the faux-epilogue where, all of a sudden, we get an update on where everyone is one year later.’
      • ‘He always had a habit of going down on one knee to block shots, so I thought I could fake him out of position.’
      • ‘Sue closed her eyes, she didn't want anyone else to fake her out, to pretend to be something they were not.’
      • ‘Then he opens his empty hand and smiles at me, and I say, ‘You faked me out!’’


Late 18th century (originally slang): origin uncertain; perhaps ultimately related to German fegen ‘sweep, thrash’. Compare with fig.




Main definitions of fake in English

: fake1fake2


noun & verb

  • variant spelling of flake


Late Middle English (as a verb): of unknown origin.