Definition of false friend in English:

false friend


  • A word or expression that has a similar form to one in a person's native language, but a different meaning (for example English magazine and French magasin ‘shop’).

    • ‘The following list of false friends will be helpful to Spanish speakers as the Spanish equivalent to the given English word means something different.’
    • ‘Our friend has fallen foul of the phenomenon known as faux amis, or false friends, foreign words that seem to mean one thing but actually mean another.’
    • ‘Inconsecuente is an example of a "false friend," a Spanish word that can trip you up if you think it means the same as a similar word in English.’


Translating French faux ami.


false friend