The Meaning of Bogus: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of bogus? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word bogus, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word bogus mean?

According to Collins English Dictionary and the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, the word bogus is an adjective that refers to someone or something that is not genuine. The word bogus is two syllables – bo-gus, and the pronunciation of bogus is ˈbəʊɡəs. Bogus can also refer to a liquor made of rum and molasses. According to Dictionary, the word bogus can also be used in printing and journalist to refer to a matter set by a union requirement, then by a compositor and later discarded. This duplicates the text of an advertisement for which a plate has been supplied or type set by another publisher.

Many things can be bogus, like bogus money. This is counterfeit money or false money like counterfeit coins or a sense of phony paper money in the Unites States. Criminals create these. Someone can tell a bogus story or have a bogus apparatus. Someone might defend themselves by calling a defamation claim a bogus attack or bogus narrative. A federal judge might try and determine what is bogus information and what is accurate. A small business might fight against bogus local information or fake reviews, as well as listings fraud for business opportunities. Someone could be assigned bogus tasks at an internship. This is also an underworld term used by the slang of computer hackers.

Words that mean bogus are also used in many other different languages to describe things that are fake or not genuine. Word Sense lists numerous translations of bogus. Try using different translations for the word bogus if you are learning a new language or speaking to someone who speaks a language other than English! You may notice that some of these words are very similar to the word bogus. This shows us that these words have similar origins and etymology to the word bogus, and are called cognates. 

  •  Portuguese: falso‎ (masc.), falsificado‎ (masc.), adulterado‎ (masc.)
  •  Japanese: 偽の‎ (nise-no), 虚偽‎ (kyogi), いんちきの‎ (inchiki-no)
  •  Dutch: vervalst‎
  •  Occitan: fals‎, falsificat‎
  •  Italian: falsificato‎, truccato‎
  •  Turkish: sahte‎, yapmacık‎
  •  Polish: fałszywy‎, zmyślony‎
  •  Spanish: falso‎, falsificado‎, adulterado‎, trapicheado‎
  •  Mandarin: 假‎ (jiǎ), 偽‎, 伪‎ (wěi), 虛偽‎, 虚伪‎ (xūwěi)
  •  Arabic: زَائِف‎, كَاذِب‎, مُزَوَّر‎
  •  Icelandic: óekta‎ (masc.), falskur‎ (masc.), svikinn‎ (masc.)
  •  German: falsch‎, gefälscht‎
  •  Finnish: väärä‎, väärennetty‎, tekaistu‎, teko-‎, vale-‎
  •  French: faux‎, falsifié‎, truqué‎, maquillé‎, trafiqué‎, colloquial: bidouillé‎
  •  Indonesian: gadungan‎
  •  Russian: подде́льный‎, фикти́вный‎, фальши́вый‎, ло́жный‎
  •  Bulgarian: фалшив‎, фиктивен‎, лъжлив‎

What is the origin of the word bogus?

According to Your Dictionary, the word bogus originated as c19 criminal slang as a short form of tantrabogus. This was a slang term for a menacing object, which may link the word to bogy, bogey, or bogeyman. It could also be related to the word Bogle, who is a traditional trickster from the Scottish Borders, who is noted for achieving acts of household trickery. It could also have an ancestor in the term hausa boko, meaning to fake, and could have come over on a slave ship.

How can the word bogus be used in a sentence?

The word bogus can be used in many different ways in the English language in different sentences. Using words in a sentence is a great way to learn their definitions so that you can add them to your vocabulary. You can also try making flashcards or quizzes for yourself to test your knowledge of the definitions of different words. Try using this word of the day in a sentence today! Below are a couple of examples of the word bogus to help get you started.

The publisher from Harpercollins Publishers tried to determine if the copyright claim was bogus or not. They reached out to their friend at Random House for advice.

The man has a disagreement with collectors who came to collect his bogus device used for hacking. He assured them the circumstance was not what it appeared, but to his displeasure, they took his items anyway.

What are synonyms and antonyms of bogus?

There are many different words that one can use in place of the word bogus. These are called synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same definition as another word or phrase. Synonyms are useful to know if you are looking to expand your vocabulary or if you want to avoid repeating yourself. This list of synonyms for the word bogus is provided by Power Thesaurus

  •  trumped up
  •  make-believe
  •  pretend
  •  faux
  •  phony
  •  imitation
  •  bastard
  •  fake
  •  sham
  •  false
  •  made-up
  •  dummy
  •  simulated
  •  untrue
  •  pretended
  •  counterfeit
  •  inauthentic
  •  ersatz
  •  contrived
  •  factitious
  •  apocryphal
  •  synthetic
  •  specious
  •  affected
  •  faked
  •  wrong
  •  mock
  •  fallacious
  •  deceitful
  •  fraudulent
  •  invalid
  •  phoney
  •  insincere
  •  falsified
  •  man-made
  •  unauthentic
  •  feigned
  •  misleading
  •  deceptive
  •  artificial
  •  forged
  •  forgery
  •  supposititious
  •  spurious
  •  fictitious
  •  fabricated
  •  pseudo
  •  put-on
  •  plastic
  •  assumed

There are also many different words that have the opposite meaning of the word bogus. These are called antonyms. Antonyms are also very useful to know if you are looking to expand your knowledge of the English language. This list of antonyms for the word bogus is provided by Power Thesaurus as well.

  •  genuine
  •  real
  •  authentic
  •  right
  •  true
  •  actual
  •  good
  •  honest
  •  valid
  •  accurate
  •  exact
  •  fair
  •  sound
  •  bona fide
  •  correct
  •  factual
  •  precise
  •  proper
  •  pure
  •  absolute
  •  categorical
  •  certain
  •  complete
  •  convincing
  •  definite
  •  faithful
  •  indubitable
  •  just
  •  legitimate
  •  natural
  •  organic
  •  positive
  •  rational
  •  reliable
  •  sheer
  •  sincere
  •  solid
  •  sure
  •  total
  •  unalloyed
  •  undoubted
  •  unqualified
  •  veracious
  •  verifiable
  •  veritable
  •  very true
  •  watertight
  •  wow
  •  absolutely correct
  •  accomplished

Overall, the word bogus means fake or not genuine. The origin of this word is largely unknown.


  1. bogus: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense 
  2. Bogus synonyms – 763 Words and Phrases for Bogus | Power Thesaurus 
  3. Bogus antonyms – 534 Opposites of Bogus | Power Thesaurus
  4. Bogus definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary 
  5. Bogus Meaning | Best 11 Definitions of Bogus | Your Dictionary 
  6. Bogus | Definition of Bogus |