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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce counterfeit (audio)

Dictionary definition of counterfeit

Fake, imitation, or forged, often with the intention of passing something off as genuine or authentic.
"The store was selling counterfeit designer handbags."

Detailed meaning of counterfeit

When we characterize something as counterfeit, we emphasize its lack of authenticity and its deceptive nature, particularly in the context of imitation products, money, documents, or artworks. Counterfeit items are created with the aim of deceiving others, usually for financial gain, and can be difficult to distinguish from the real thing. This term conveys a sense of illegitimacy and dishonesty, indicating that the subject is not what it claims to be. Whether it's counterfeit currency, counterfeit designer goods, or counterfeit identification, this adjective underscores the falseness and fraudulent nature of the subject, highlighting the need for vigilance in identifying and preventing deception.

Example sentences containing counterfeit

1. He was arrested for producing and selling counterfeit money.
2. The counterfeit painting was so well done that it fooled the experts.
3. The company's reputation was tarnished by the revelation that they sold counterfeit products.
4. The authorities are cracking down on the sale of counterfeit goods.
5. The fake ID was a clever counterfeit of the real thing.
6. The counterfeit drugs were dangerous and ineffective.

History and etymology of counterfeit

The adjective 'counterfeit' has its etymological roots in Old French and Latin. It is derived from the Old French word 'contrefait,' which is a combination of 'contre,' meaning 'against' or 'opposite,' and 'fait,' meaning 'made' or 'done.' This Old French term was influenced by Latin, specifically the word 'contrafacere,' which means 'to copy' or 'to imitate.' In essence, 'counterfeit' originally described something that was made or done against (in opposition to) the genuine or authentic article. Over time, it came to represent anything that is fake, imitation, or forged, often with the intention of passing it off as genuine or authentic. Thus, the etymology of 'counterfeit' reflects its historical association with the act of copying or imitating something with deceptive intent.

Quiz: Find the meaning of counterfeit

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Further usage examples of counterfeit

1. She was caught with a suitcase full of counterfeit designer clothing.
2. The counterfeit watch looked almost identical to the real one.
3. He had to be careful not to accidentally use one of the counterfeit bills in his wallet.
4. The company lost a lot of business when customers found out they were selling counterfeit items.
5. The police were able to bust the counterfeiting ring by following the trail of fake money.
6. He unknowingly purchased a counterfeit Rolex watch, a convincing replica.
7. The counterfeit bills were so convincing that even experts were fooled by them.
8. The art dealer discovered a counterfeit painting in his prestigious collection.
9. She was embarrassed when she realized her designer handbag was a counterfeit.
10. The criminals used counterfeit passports to evade authorities and cross borders.
11. The counterfeit tickets to the concert left many fans disappointed and angry.
12. The counterfeit perfume smelled nothing like the genuine fragrance it imitated.
13. Authorities shut down the large-scale counterfeit currency operation.
14. They faced legal consequences for selling counterfeit electronics online.
15. The presence of a counterfeit signature on the document raised suspicions.
16. The market was flooded with counterfeit designer clothing, deceiving shoppers.
17. Despite its authenticity, the counterfeit diamond ring looked remarkably real.
18. A counterfeit version of the famous painting surfaced in a renowned museum.
19. The counterfeit software infected computers, causing widespread issues.
20. With a counterfeit ID, he gained unauthorized access to the restricted area.
21. She was caught attempting to use a counterfeit driver's license at the bar.
22. Counterfeit antiques were being sold to unsuspecting buyers at the flea market.
23. The cashier meticulously examined the counterfeit banknote, detecting flaws.
24. The international counterfeit currency ring operated across multiple countries.
25. He faced serious legal repercussions for his involvement in distributing counterfeit goods.



forged, genuine, authentic, real


ACT 7 (American College Testing), Guile and Duplicity, Fake and Insincere

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