What does specious mean?

Definitions for specious
ˈspi ʃəsspe·cious

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word specious.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. specious, spuriousadjective

    plausible but false

    "a specious claim"; "spurious inferences"

  2. gilded, meretricious, speciousadjective

    based on pretense; deceptively pleasing

    "the gilded and perfumed but inwardly rotten nobility"; "meretricious praise"; "a meretricious argument"


  1. speciousadjective

    Seemingly well-reasoned or factual, but actually fallacious or insincere; strongly held but false.

    This idea that we must see through what we have started is specious, however good it may sound.

  2. speciousadjective

    Having an attractive appearance intended to generate a favorable response; deceptively attractive.

  3. speciousadjective

    Beautiful, pleasing to look at.

  4. Etymology: From speciōsus "good-looking".

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Speciousadjective

    Etymology: specieux, Fr. speciosus, Latin.

    The rest, far greater part,
    Will deem in outward rites and specious forms,
    Religion satisfy’d. John Milton.

    She next I took to wife,
    O that I never had! fond wish too late!
    Was in the vale of Sorec, Dalila,
    That specious monster, my accomplish’d snare. John Milton.

    Bad men boast
    Their specious deeds on earth which glory excites,
    Or close ambition varnish’d o’er with zeal. John Milton.

    Somewhat of specious they must have to recommend themselves to princes; for folly will not easily go down in its natural form. Dryden.

    Temptation is of greater danger, because it is covered with the specious names of good nature and good manners. John Rogers.

    This is the only specious objection which our Romish adversaries urge against the doctrine of this church in the point of celebacy. Francis Atterbury.


  1. specious

    Specious is an adjective used to describe something that appears to be true, valid, or attractive but is actually false or deceptive upon closer examination. It's typically used to refer to arguments or propositions that are misleading and lack real merit or validity.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Speciousadjective

    presenting a pleasing appearance; pleasing in form or look; showy

  2. Speciousadjective

    apparently right; superficially fair, just, or correct, but not so in reality; appearing well at first view; plausible; as, specious reasoning; a specious argument

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Specious

    spē′shus, adj. that looks well at first sight: showy: plausible: appearing actual, not merely imaginary.—ns. Spēcios′ity, Spē′ciousness, plausible appearance.—adv. Spē′ciously. [Fr.,—L. speciosus, showy—species, form—specĕre, to see.]

The Roycroft Dictionary

  1. specious

    That form of argument used as an indoor sport by East Aurora natives in an attempt to prove that two or three make four.

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of specious in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of specious in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of specious in a Sentence

  1. Geoff Kelly:

    These thieves were not sophisticated criminals, as evidenced by the fact that two of the paintings were cut out of their frames, the significant value of the stolen artwork seems to have elevated the status of the thieves to master criminals but that's a specious assumption.

  2. Bernard Mandeville:

    Ashamed of the many frailties they feel within, all men endeavor to hide themselves, their ugly nakedness, from each other, and wrapping up the true motives of their hearts in the specious cloak of sociableness, and their concern for the public good, they are in hopes of concealing their filthy appetites and the deformity of their desires.

  3. Erik Haas:

    The company continues to believe that these claims are specious and lack scientific merit, however, as the bankruptcy court recognized, resolving these cases in the tort system would take decades and impose significant costs on LTL and the system.

  4. Don Barthelme:

    The distinction between children and adults, while probably useful for some purposes, is at bottom a specious one, I feel. There are only individual egos, crazy for love.

  5. Dan Moulthrop:

    This is a specious attempt to smear an organization that has done nothing other than insist on fair debates where facts and the truth are respected.

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Translations for specious

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"specious." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 4 Mar. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/specious>.

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    very close or connected in space or time
    • A. butch
    • B. foreordained
    • C. aculeate
    • D. contiguous

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