- of doubtful authorship or authenticity
- not genuine; spurious; counterfeit
- [A-] of or like the Apocrypha
An unbelievable story about a baby lifting a car is an example of an apocryphal story.
- Of questionable authorship or authenticity.
- Erroneous; fictitious: “Wildly apocryphal rumors about starvation in Petrograd … raced through Russia's trenches” ( W. Bruce Lincoln )
- Apocryphal Bible Of or having to do with the Apocrypha.
(comparative more apocryphal, superlative most apocryphal)
- Of, or pertaining to, the Apocrypha.
- Of doubtful authenticity, or lacking authority; not regarded as canonical.
- Many scholars consider the stories of the monk Teilo to be apocryphal.
- Of dubious veracity; of questionable accuracy or truthfulness; anecdotal or in the nature of an urban legend.
- There is an apocryphal tale of a little boy plugging the dike with his finger.
From Late Latin apocryphus (“secret, not approved for public reading”), from Ancient Greek ἀπόκρυφος (apokryphos, “hidden, obscure”, thus “(books) of unknown authorship”), from ἀπό (apo, “from”) + κρύπτω (kruptō, “I hide”). Properly plural (the singular would be apocryphon), but commonly treated as a collective singular. “Apocryphal” meaning “of doubtful authenticity” is first attested in English in 1590.
- Of, or relating to the Apocrypha
- But it is also probable that these apocryphal versions are based on a genuine original.
- This is the most important of all the apocryphal writings for the history of religious thought.
- The one exception is a prophetic writing, the apocryphal Book of Eldad and Modad, A careful study of practical Christian ethics at Rome as implied in the Shepherd, will be found in E.
- It is used to designate an apocryphal writing entitled in the older MSS.
- Liber sapientiae), an apocryphal book of the "Wisdom Literature" (q.v.), the most brilliant production of pre-Christian Hebrew philosophical thought, remarkable both for the elevation of its ideas and for the splendour of its diction.