The opposite of the word "real" is "fake." This is a great adjective to use when describing something or someone that gives a false impression or doesn’t seem real.

  • Are those diamonds real, or are they fake?*
  • That woman is speaking with a fake French accent.
  • Matt used a fake ID to buy some beer.
  • Sharon has a fake tattoo on her back that looks real.
  • Someone is passing around fake hundred-dollar bills.

You can also use this word as a noun:

  • There was a story in the paper about a man who thought he owned a painting by Pablo Picasso, but it turned out to be a fake.
  • He said he was a doctor, but it turns out he’s a fake.
  • Is this apple a fake or is it real?

fake apple

Sometimes the word "fake" is used as a verb:

  • Is he really asleep or is he just faking it?
  • Caroline faked that she was happy when she got married.
  • He faked his way through school and got a degree.

* Another word that is similar to "fake" is "phoney."

Are those diamonds real, or are they phoney?

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The page was first published on August 20, 2012. It was updated on June 6, 2015.