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apocryphal

[uh-pok-ruh-fuh l] /əˈpɒk rə fəl/
adjective
1.
of doubtful authorship or authenticity.
2.
Ecclesiastical.
  1. (initial capital letter) of or relating to the Apocrypha.
  2. of doubtful sanction; uncanonical.
3.
false; spurious:
He told an apocryphal story about the sword, but the truth was later revealed.
Origin
1580-1590
1580-90; apocryph(a) + -al1
Related forms
apocryphally, adverb
apocryphalness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for apocryphal
  • News also spread over the Net - with the usual apocryphal embellishments.
  • Many modern historians believe the tale is apocryphal.
  • The story is no doubt apocryphal but I want to believe it.
  • There are tales, perhaps apocryphal, of villages where all the men of working age have left.
  • We all have apocryphal and outlier stories to tell, some of the most unbelievable are not even exaggerations.
  • He tells two stories that sound apocryphal, but which he insists are true.
  • The story is probably apocryphal, but the child's response was prophetic.
  • More than three years later, this apocryphal account continues to surface.
  • The story may be apocryphal, but it tends to be believed.
  • These are not the only matters that are reported as fact but sound apocryphal, since so much of the source material is secondhand.
British Dictionary definitions for apocryphal

apocryphal

/əˈpɒkrɪfəl/
adjective
1.
of questionable authenticity
2.
(sometimes capital) of or like the Apocrypha
3.
untrue; counterfeit
Derived Forms
apocryphally, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for apocryphal
adj.

1580s, "of doubtful authenticity," from Apocrypha + -al (1). Middle English had apocrive (late 14c.) in same sense.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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