- The definition of phony is someone or something that is not genuine, or not honest or insincere.
A knock-off Gucci purse is an example of a purse that would be described as phony.
- Phony is something or someone that is not as it seems, or a person who pretends to be something he is not.
Someone who is poor but who pretends to be rich to impress others is an example of a phony.
phony definition by Webster's New World
Origin: altered ; from British thieves' argot fawney, gilt ring (passed off as gold by swindlers) ; from Irish fáinne
- something not genuine; sham; fake
- a person who is not what he or she pretends to be; one who deceives, dissembles, is insincere, etc.; fraud
- phoniness noun
Origin: ; from Classical Greek phōnē, a sound: see phono-
phony definition by American Heritage Dictionary
also pho·neyadjective pho·ni·er, pho·ni·est
- a. Not genuine or real; counterfeit: a phony credit card.b. False; spurious: a phony name.
- Not honest or truthful; deceptive: a phony excuse.
- a. Insincere or hypocritical.b. Giving a false impression of truth or authenticity; specious.
- Something not genuine; a fake.
- a. One who is insincere or pretentious.b. An impostor; a hypocrite.
Origin: Alteration of fawney, gilt brass ring used by swindlers, from Irish Gaelic fáinne, ring, from Old Irish.
- phoˈni·ly adverb
- phoˈni·ness noun
Origin: Greek -phōniā, from phōnē, sound, voice; see bhā-2 in Indo-European roots.