false (adj.)

late Old English, "intentionally untrue, lying," of religion, "not of the true faith, not in accord with Christian doctrines," from Old French fals, faus "false, fake; incorrect, mistaken; treacherous, deceitful" (12c., Modern French faux), from Latin falsus "deceptive, feigned, deceitful, pretend," also "deceived, erroneous, mistaken," past participle of fallere "deceive, disappoint," which is of uncertain origin (see fail (v.)).

Adopted into other Germanic languages (cognates: German falsch, Dutch valsch, Old Frisian falsk, Danish falsk), though English is the only one in which the active sense of "deceitful" (a secondary sense in Latin) has predominated. From c. 1200 as "deceitful, disloyal, treacherous; not genuine;" from early 14c. as "contrary to fact or reason, erroneous, wrong." False alarm recorded from 1570s. False step (1700) translates French faux pas. To bear false witness is attested from mid-13c. False prophet "one who prophecies without divine commission or by evil spirits," is attested from late 13c.

updated on December 11, 2020

Definitions of false from WordNet
false (adj.)
not in accordance with the fact or reality or actuality;
gave false testimony under oath
false tales of bravery
false (adj.)
arising from error;
a false assumption
Synonyms: mistaken
false (adj.)
erroneous and usually accidental;
a false alarm
a false start
false (adj.)
deliberately deceptive;
false pretenses
false (adj.)
inappropriate to reality or facts;
false hopes
Synonyms: delusive
false (adj.)
not genuine or real; being an imitation of the genuine article; "it isn't fake anything; it's real synthetic fur";
false teeth
Synonyms: fake / faux / imitation / simulated
false (adj.)
designed to deceive;
a suitcase with a false bottom
false (adj.)
inaccurate in pitch;
a false (or sour) note
Synonyms: off-key / sour
false (adj.)
adopted in order to deceive;
Synonyms: assumed / fictitious / fictive / pretended / put on / sham
false (adj.)
(used especially of persons) not dependable in devotion or affection; unfaithful;
a false friend
Synonyms: untrue
false (adv.)
in a disloyal and faithless manner;
his wife played him false
Synonyms: faithlessly / traitorously / treacherously / treasonably
Etymologies are not definitions. From, not affiliated with etymonline.