Definitions for phonyˈfoʊ ni

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word phony

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

pho•nyˈfoʊ ni(adj.)-ni•er, -ni•est

or pho•ney

  1. (adj.)not real or genuine; fake:

    phony diamonds.

    Category: Common Vocabulary

  2. false or deceiving:

    a phony excuse.

    Category: Common Vocabulary

  3. affected or pretentious.

    Category: Common Vocabulary

  4. (n.)something phony; a counterfeit or fake.

    Category: Common Vocabulary

  5. an insincere or affected person.

    Category: Common Vocabulary

  6. (v.t.)to falsify (often fol. by up):

    to phony up a document.

Origin of phony:

1895–1900; perh. alter. and resp. of fawney (slang) finger ring (< Ir fáinne), taken to mean “false” in the phrase fawney rig a confidence game in which a brass ring is sold as a gold one



  1. a combining form used in the formation of abstract nouns corresponding to nouns ending in -phone :


    Category: Affix

Origin of -phony:

< Gk -phōnia; see -phone , -y3

Princeton's WordNet

  1. hypocrite, dissembler, dissimulator, phony, phoney, pretender(adj)

    a person who professes beliefs and opinions that he or she does not hold in order to conceal his or her real feelings or motives

  2. bogus, fake, phony, phoney, bastard(adj)

    fraudulent; having a misleading appearance

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. phony(adjective)ˈfoʊ ni

    not real and intended to deceive; = fake

    a phony passport


  1. phony(Noun)

    A faker, a person who professes beliefs or opinions that they do not hold or assumes an identity other than their own.

    He's as phony as a three-dollar bill.

  2. phony(Adjective)

    Fraudulent; fake; having a misleading appearance.

    A good jeweler should be able to tell a real stone from a phony one.

  3. Origin: Perhaps an alteration of fawney “gilt brass ring used by swindlers” (1781), from Ir. fáinne “ring.”


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