falsehood

falsehood
falsehood, falseness, falsity
The three words, all to do with departure from the truth or what is true, have a considerable overlap in meaning and are sometimes interchangeable. Falsehood is the intentional telling of an untruth, and a falsehood is a lie or untruth. Falseness and falsity are both used more broadly to mean ‘deceitfulness or unfaithfulness’ or an instance of either. Examples:

• A half-truth was a falsehood, and it remained a falsehood even when you'd told it in the belief that it was the whole truth —Aldous Huxley, 1939

• As it had always been, truth and falsehood were inextricably intertwined in that statement —S. Naipaul, 1980

• The engagement had probably not been a complete falsity, a piece of acting —Humphrey Carpenter, 1982

• The biggest danger in diplomacy is falseness, dishonesty and lack of credibility —D. Freemantle, 1988

• The title track from his last album…is a typically excoriating Pop lyric —a diatribe at the falsity and emptiness of modern life —Independent, 2002.


Modern English usage. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Falsehood — False hood, n. [False + hood] 1. Want of truth or accuracy; an untrue assertion or representation; error; misrepresentation; falsity. [1913 Webster] Though it be a lie in the clock, it is but a falsehood in the hand of the dial when pointing at a …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • falsehood — I noun canard, commentum, deception, dissimulation, distortion, distortion of truth, equivocation, evasion, fabrication, false assertion, false statement, falsification, falsity, falsum, fiction, flam, fraud, fraudulence, inaccuracy, intentional… …   Law dictionary

  • falsehood — late 13c., falshede, deceitfulness, also a lie, from FALSE (Cf. false) + HOOD (Cf. hood) …   Etymology dictionary

  • falsehood — untruth, *lie, fib, misrepresentation, story Antonyms: truth (in concrete sense) …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • falsehood — [n] lie canard, cover up, deceit, deception, dishonesty, dissimulation, distortion, equivocation, erroneousness, error, fable, fabrication, fakery, fallaciousness, fallacy, falseness, falsity, feigning, fib, fibbery, fiction, figment, fraud, half …   New thesaurus

  • falsehood — ► NOUN 1) the state of being untrue. 2) a lie …   English terms dictionary

  • falsehood — [fôls′hood΄] n. [ME falshod: see FALSE & HOOD] 1. lack of accuracy or truth; falsity; deception 2. the telling of lies; lying 3. a false statement; lie 4. a false belief, theory, idea, etc …   English World dictionary

  • falsehood — /fawls hood/, n. 1. a false statement; lie. 2. something false; an untrue idea, belief, etc.: The Nazis propagated the falsehood of racial superiority. 3. the act of lying or making false statements. 4. lack of conformity to truth or fact. 5. Obs …   Universalium

  • Falsehood — (Roget s Thesaurus) < N PARAG:Falsehood >N GRP: N 1 Sgm: N 1 falsehood falsehood falseness Sgm: N 1 falsity falsity falsification Sgm: N 1 deception deception &c. 545 Sgm: N 1 untruth untruth &c. 546 Sgm …   English dictionary for students

  • falsehood — The OT Decalogue does not contain any prohibition of lying but there are many terms in which the evils of falsehood are denounced. It is a power of sheol, the infernal world (Isa. 28:15) and it is especially represented by idolatry (Jer. 10:14)… …   Dictionary of the Bible

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