Word of the Day: Spurious


spu-ri-ous / spyo͝or-ē-əs


1. counterfeit; not real or genuine

America overflows with specious “victims” demanding redress for spurious grievances.

George Will, “Reform in Baseball as In Life”, www.sfgate.com. April 2, 2001

2. untrustworthy; invalid; incorrect

Correlations are not explanations and besides, they can be as spurious as the high correlation in Finland between foxes killed and divorces.

Gunnar Myrdal. 1898 – 1987

3. in plants, having a similar appearance to another part but a different function or structure

The strawberry also is a spurious fruit: in it the receptacle, which belongs of course to the axis, developes largely and becomes fleshy and bears the true fruits (achenes) in the form of small hard grains.

“A Students’ Text-book of Botany, Part 2” by Sydney Howard Vines, 1849 – 1934

4. (archaic) illegitimate; born out of wedlock

In a Parliamentary debate in 1857, the Lord Chancellor said that “A wife might without any loss of caste condone an act of adultery . . . but a husband could not condone a similar act on the part of the wife . . . as the adultery might be the means of palming spurious offspring on her husband.”

Bettyann Kevles, “The Changing Attitudes on Adultery”, ‘Los Angeles Times’, www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1987-06-11-vw-6362-story.html, June 11, 1987