Definition of false friend in English:

false friend

noun

  • 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’)

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The following list of false friends will be helpful to Spanish speakers as the Spanish equivalent to the given English word means something different.’

Origin

Translating French faux ami.

Pronunciation

false friend

/ˌfôls ˈfrend//ˌfɔls ˈfrɛnd/