See also: -phony

English edit

Alternative forms edit

Etymology edit

Of unknown origin. Perhaps an alteration of fawny (gilt brass ring used by swindlers) (1781), from Irish fáinne (ring).

Pronunciation edit

Adjective edit

phony (comparative phonier, superlative phoniest)

  1. (informal) Fraudulent; fake; having a misleading appearance.
    A good jeweler should be able to tell a real stone from a phony one.

Synonyms edit

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Translations edit

Noun edit

phony (plural phonies)

  1. (informal) A person who assumes an identity or quality other than their own.
    He claims to be a doctor, but he's nothing but a fast-talking phony.
    • 1951, J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, Little, Brown and Company, →OCLC, page 164:
      What a deal that was. You never saw so many phonies in all your life, everybody smoking their ears off and talking about the play so that everybody could hear and know how sharp they were.
  2. (informal) A person who professes beliefs or opinions that they do not hold.
    Synonyms: faker, dissembler, pretender, fake; see also Thesaurus:deceiver
    He's such a phony, he doesn't believe half of what he says.
  3. (informal) Anything fraudulent or fake.
    • 2013, John E. Douglas, Ann W. Burgess, Allen G. Burgess, Crime Classification Manual, page 131:
      One name was a phony, but the other was the true name. The clerk remembered the man who had filed the tags since he acquired two sets of plates with different names.

Derived terms edit

Translations edit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Verb edit

phony (third-person singular simple present phonies, present participle phonying, simple past and past participle phonied)

  1. (informal) To fake.

Anagrams edit