AskDefine | Define fake

Dictionary Definition

fake adj
1 fraudulent; having a misleading appearance [syn: bogus, phony, phoney, bastard]
2 not genuine or real; being an imitation of the genuine article; "it isn't fake anything; it's real synthetic fur"; "faux pearls"; "false teeth"; "decorated with imitation palm leaves"; "a purse of simulated alligator hide" [syn: false, faux, imitation, simulated]


1 something that is a counterfeit; not what it seems to be [syn: sham, postiche]
2 a person who makes deceitful pretenses [syn: imposter, impostor, pretender, faker, fraud, sham, shammer, pseudo, pseud, role player]
3 (football) a deceptive move made by a football player [syn: juke]


1 make a copy of with the intent to deceive; "he faked the signature"; "they counterfeited dollar bills"; "She forged a Green Card" [syn: forge, counterfeit]
2 fake or falsify; "Fudge the figures"; "cook the books"; "falsify the data" [syn: fudge, manipulate, falsify, cook, wangle, misrepresent]
3 talk through one's hat; "The politician was not well prepared for the debate and faked it" [syn: bullshit, bull]

User Contributed Dictionary



Etymology 1

The origin is not known with certainty, although first attested in 1775 CE in British criminals' slang It is probably from feague, "to give a better appearance through artificial means"; from the German fegen, "to sweep", "to polish".


  1. Not real; false, fraudulent.
    Which fur coat looks faker?
not real


  1. A trick; a swindle.
  2. Something which is not genuine, or is presented fraudulently.


  1. To cheat; to swindle; to steal; to rob.
  2. To make; to construct; to do.
  3. To manipulate fraudulently, so as to make an object appear better or other than it really is; as, to fake a bulldog, by burning his upper lip and thus artificially shortening it.

Etymology 2

From Middle English faken, to coil a rope.


  1. One of the circles or windings of a cable or hawser, as it lies in a coil; a single turn or coil.
  • Italian: duglia


  1. To coil (a rope, line, or hawser), by winding alternately in opposite directions, in layers usually of zigzag or figure of eight form, to prevent twisting when running out.
  • Italian: dugliare

Derived terms

Extensive Definition

Fake means not real. For example, a document or other object created to look like a real object that exists or could exist, or a performance where an event is played, or untrue statements. Or a person who tries to be someone they're not by dressing and acting differently from their true selves.
Applications include:
  • fun, art, use as a toy
    • for example, a film or play shows fake events, where actors show fake emotions, and where fake objects are used
  • an insult used to describe a person who lies, pretends to be something they are not, does not have an opinion of their own or pretends to like things he or she does not
  • deception
  • the same purpose (partly or fully) as the real thing
Reasons for using a fake object instead of the real thing include:
  • the real thing does not exist, including:
    • a document trying to prove something which is not true
    • a fantasy object
  • a fake version of an object may be:
    • more easily available
    • less expensive
    • less dangerous (e.g. a toy weapon, or a weapon prop)
    • less heavy
    • not requiring to kill an animal (meat analogue, imitation fur)
    • legal while the real thing is illegal
    • not requiring a license
  • decoys of a military target either require the extra effort to distinguish them from the real thing or make destruction less efficient by the need to destruct the decoys too; decoys are less expensive than the real thing; especially for missiles it is also important that they are less heavy; also they may be inflatable and therefore before deployment have a small volume; in the case of arms limitation agreements an advantage is also that they typically are not limited.

See also

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

act, act a part, act like, actor, ad-lib, adulterate, affect, affected, affecter, agent, alike, alter, alternate, alternative, analogy, aped, apocryphal, artificial, assume, assumed, backup, bastard, blagueur, bluff, bluffer, bogus, borrow, brummagem, certified copy, change, changeling, charlatan, cheat, chorus, clinquant, colorable, colored, comparison, concoct, concocted, consimilar, cook, cook up, copied, copy, counterfeit, counterfeited, cover up, crib, dash off, deceiver, deception, deputy, dissemble, dissimulate, distorted, ditto, do, do a bit, do like, do offhand, doctor, double, dramatize, dressed up, dummy, echo, ectype, embellished, embroidered, equal, equivalent, ersatz, exchange, extemporize, fabricate, fabricated, factitious, fair copy, faithful copy, faked, fakement, faker, false, falsified, falsify, fantasize, favoring, feign, feigned, fictitious, fictive, fill-in, flam, following, forge, forged, forgery, four-flush, fourflusher, frame-up, framed, fraud, fraudulent, fudge, gammon, garbled, ghost, ghostwriter, go like, gyp, hatch, histrionize, hoax, hoaxer, hoke, hoke up, hokey, hollow man, homogeneous, humbug, hypocritical, icon, identical, illegitimate, image, imitate, imitated, imitation, impersonator, impostor, improvisate, improvise, invent, invented, juggle, junk, junky, jury-rig, knock off, lash up, let on, let on like, like, likeness, load, locum tenens, make a pretense, make as if, make believe, make like, make out like, make up, make-believe, makeshift, malingerer, man of straw, man-made, manipulate, mannerist, manufacture, metaphor, metonymy, mimicked, mirror, mock, modify, mountebank, nearly reproduced, next best thing, not unlike, overact, pack, paper tiger, paste, pasticcio, pastiche, performer, personnel, perverted, phony, picture, pinch, pinch hitter, pinchbeck, plagiarize, plagiarized, plant, play, play a part, play a scene, play by ear, play possum, playact, playactor, portrait, poser, poseur, pretend, pretended, pretender, profess, provisional, proxy, pseudo, put on, put on airs, put-on, put-up job, quack, quacksalver, quackster, quasi, queer, reecho, reflect, relief, repeat, replacement, representation, representative, resemblance, resembling, reserve, reserves, retouch, rig, ringer, rip-off, salt, saltimbanco, scrap the plan, second string, secondary, self-styled, sell, semblance, sham, shammer, shoddy, sign, similar, similitude, simulacrum, simulate, simulated, smacking of, snide, so-called, soi-disant, something like, sophisticate, spares, spoof, spurious, stack, stand-in, stopgap, straw man, strike off, sub, substituent, substitute, substitution, succedaneum, suggestive of, superseder, supplanter, supposititious, surrogate, swindle, symbol, synecdoche, synthetic, tamper with, temporary, tentative, third string, throw off, throw together, tin, tinsel, titivated, token, toss off, toss out, trump up, tug the heartstrings, twisted, unauthentic, understudy, ungenuine, uniform with, unnatural, unreal, utility, utility player, vamp, vicar, vicarious, vice-president, vice-regent, warped, wear, whip up, whited sepulcher, whomp up, wing it
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