false friend
  • (RP) IPA: /ˌfɒls ˈfɹɛnd/, /ˌfɔːls ˈfɹɛnd/
  • (America) IPA: /ˌfɔls ˈfɹɛnd/, /ˌfɑls ˈfɹɛnd/

false friend (plural false friends)

  1. (linguistics, translation studies, lexicography) A word in a language that bears a deceptive resemblance to a word in another language but in fact has a different meaning. The words in question may well be etymologically related, but in such cases semantic shifts have made them drift apart.
    Synonyms: faux ami
  2. Used other than with a figurative or idiomatic meaning: see false, friend

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