Counterfeit refers to something that is made to look like an exact copy of something else, typically for fraudulent purposes.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech

Noun (it can also be used as an adjective or a verb)


fake, forgery, imitation, replica, sham, copy, fraud, hoax, phony, spurious.


Genuine, original, real, authentic, valid, legitimate.

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun counterfeits, counterfeiters, counterfeiter, counterfeit
Verb counterfeits, counterfeiting, counterfeited, counterfeit
Adjective counterfeit
Adverb None

Example Sentences

  • The art collector discovered that the painting he had bought was a counterfeit and not an original as he had been led to believe.

  • The currency counterfeiters were caught by the police and arrested for making and circulating fake currency notes.

  • The company lost a lot of money due to the sale of counterfeit products that were being marketed as genuine.

  • The security guard was trained to identify counterfeits by analyzing the security features present on the currency notes.


Counterfeit is a versatile word that can be used in various contexts, especially related to fraud or deception. The root of the word, ‘counter’, means ‘against’ or ‘opposite’, while the word ‘feit’ derives from the Latin ‘factus’, meaning ‘made’. This makes the word counterfeit suggest something that has been made to look like something else, in a deceptive or dishonest manner.

The word counterfeit can also be used as a verb to describe the act of making or producing something false or fake, usually for dishonest purposes. For instance, a person who counterfeits goods may make them look like real products from known brands, and then sell them at premium prices. Such a practice is illegal and can lead to severe legal action if caught.

The word counterfeit can also be used as an adjective to describe something that is fake or imitates something else. For example, counterfeit jewelry, watches, or handbags are common examples of goods that are made to look like real and costly products, but actually are inferior or fake copies.

To express the opposite meaning of the term counterfeit, one can use words like genuine, authentic, real, original, etc. These words indicate that something is not fake, but rather the real or original product. Similarly, to describe a person or thing that is opposed to counterfeits, one can use words like honest, truthful, authentic, or trustworthy.

In addition, some common prefixes that can be used with the word counterfeit include ’non-counterfeit’, ‘anti-counterfeit’, or ‘pseudo-counterfeit’, depending on the context. These prefixes help to add nuances to the original meaning of the word, while still preserving its central meaning of something fake or fraudulent.