Etymology
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Words related to false

fail (v.)

c. 1200, "be unsuccessful in accomplishing a purpose;" also "cease to exist or to function, come to an end;" early 13c. as "fail in expectation or performance," from Old French falir "be lacking, miss, not succeed; run out, come to an end; err, make a mistake; be dying; let down, disappoint" (11c., Modern French faillir), from Vulgar Latin *fallire, from Latin fallere "to trip, cause to fall;" figuratively "to deceive, trick, dupe, cheat, elude; fail, be lacking or defective." De Vaan traces this to a PIE root meaning "to stumble" (source also of Sanskrit skhalate "to stumble, fail;" Middle Persian škarwidan "to stumble, stagger;" Greek sphallein "to bring or throw down," sphallomai "to fall;" Armenian sxalem "to stumble, fail"). If so, the Latin sense is a metaphorical shift from "stumble" to "deceive." Related: Failed; failing.

Replaced Old English abreoðan. From c. 1200 as "be unsuccessful in accomplishing a purpose;" also "cease to exist or to function, come to an end;" early 13c. as "fail in expectation or performance."

From mid-13c. of food, goods, etc., "to run short in supply, be used up;" from c. 1300 of crops, seeds, land. From c. 1300 of strength, spirits, courage, etc., "suffer loss of vigor; grow feeble;" from mid-14c. of persons. From late 14c. of material objects, "break down, go to pieces."

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falsehood (n.)

c. 1300, falshede, "deceitfulness," also "a lie; that which is false," from false + -hood. Formed on the same pattern are Old Frisian falschede, Dutch valschheid, German Falschheit, Swedish falskhet. Former noun forms in English, now extinct, included falsage "wrongdoing" (late 15c.), falsdom "deceitfulness, treachery; a lie" (c. 1300), fals-lek "falsehood" (early 14c.), falsshipe "deceitfulness, dishonesty" (c. 1200).

falsely (adv.)

c. 1200, "with intent to deceive, deceitfully," from false + -ly (2). From c. 1300 as "wrongly; untruthfully;" early 14c. as "incorrectly."

falseness (n.)

c. 1300, "deceitfulness, treachery, faithlessness, dishonesty," from false + -ness.

falsetto (n.)

"artificially high voice," 1774, from Italian falsetto, diminutive of falso "false," from Latin falsus (see false). Earlier in an Englished form as falset (1707). One who sings thus is a falsettist.

falsies (n.)

"padded brassiere," 1943, from false + -ie.

falsify (v.)

mid-15c., falsifien, "to prove false," from Old French falsifier "to falsify, counterfeit" (15c.), from Late Latin falsificare "make false, corrupt," from Latin falsus "erroneous, mistaken" (see false). Meaning "to make false" is from c. 1500. Earlier verb was simply falsen (c. 1200). Related: Falsified; falsifying.

falsity (n.)

c. 1300, "deceitfulness, treachery, dishonesty," from Old French fauseté "falsehood" (12c., Modern French fausseté), from Late Latin falsitatem (nominative falsitas), from Latin falsus "erroneous, mistaken" (see false). From late 14c. as "untrue statement or doctrine;" from 1570s as "character of being not true."

faucet (n.)

c. 1400, from Old French fausset (14c.) "breach, spigot, stopper, peg (of a barrel)," which is of unknown origin; perhaps diminutive of Latin faux, fauces "upper part of the throat, pharynx, gullet." Not in Watkins, but Barnhart, Gamillscheg, and others suggest the Old French word is from fausser "to damage, break into," from Late Latin falsare (see false).

Spigot and faucet was the name of an old type of tap for a barrel or cask, consisting of a hollow, tapering tube, which was driven at the narrow end into a barrel, and a screw into the tube which regulated the flow of the liquid. Properly, it seems, the spigot was the tube, the faucet the screw, but the senses have merged or reversed over time. OED reports that faucet is now the common word in American English for the whole apparatus.

faux (adj.)

from French faux "false" (12c., see false). Used with English words at least since 1676 (Etheredge, faux-prude). Used by itself, with French pronunciation, from 1980s to mean "fake."