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[soo-doh] /ˈsu doʊ/
not actually but having the appearance of; pretended; false or spurious; sham.
almost, approaching, or trying to be.
1940-45; independent use of pseudo-


a combining form meaning “false,” “pretended,” “unreal,” used in the formation of compound words (pseudoclassic; pseudointellectual): in scientific use, denoting close or deceptive resemblance to the following element (pseudobulb; pseudocarp), and used sometimes in chemical names of isomers (pseudoephedrine).
Also, especially before a vowel, pseud-.
< Greek, combining form of pseudḗs false, pseûdos falsehood
Can be confused
pseudo-, quasi-. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for pseudo
  • Many buyers who pay for fake degrees want the pseudo-credentials so they can trick an employer, but others are scammed.
  • Its point of view is deftly sharpened, its manner is urbane and charming, without posture or allegorical pseudo-romantics.
  • Some pseudo-events cease to be pseudo because of their sheer aptness for the moment.
  • Fiction is one giant pseudo-statement, a fact-checker's nightmare.
  • One of the villagers had opened a workshop manufacturing pseudo-antique furniture.
  • The musical language turns prosaic, clichéd, pseudo-Romantic.
  • There is no looking back, although a certain pseudo-religious popular cult figure would have you believe that you should.
  • Here, let me draw this pseudo circuit diagram for a spinning coil of wire in a magnetic field.
  • Full seasons of old television shows perfectly suit the pseudo-ownership viewers have with streaming video.
  • The weakest may be picked off by pseudo-specialist features added to generalist search-engines.
British Dictionary definitions for pseudo


(informal) not genuine; pretended


combining form
false, pretending, or unauthentic: pseudo-intellectual
having a close resemblance to: pseudopodium
Word Origin
from Greek pseudēs false, from pseudein to lie
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 pseudo

late 14c., "false or spurious thing;" see pseudo-. As an adjective in this sense from mid-15c. In modern use, of persons, "pretentious, insincere," from 1945; as a noun from 1959. Related: Pseudish.


often before vowels pseud-, word-forming element meaning "false; feigned; erroneous; in appearance only; resembling," from Greek pseudo-, comb. form of pseudes "false, lying; falsely; deceived," or pseudos "falsehood, untruth, a lie," both from pseudein "to deceive, cheat by lies."

Productive in compound formation in ancient Greek (e.g. pseudodidaskalos "false teacher," pseudokyon "a sham cynic," pseudologia "a false speech," pseudoparthenos "pretended virgin"), it began to be used with native words in Middle English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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pseudo in Medicine

pseudo- or pseud-

  1. False; deceptive; sham: pseudohematuria.

  2. Apparently similar: pseudomyxoma.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for pseudo



False; bogus, sham: offering pseudo interest in her

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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pseudo in Technology

/soo'doh/ (Usenet) Pseudonym.
1. An electronic-mail or Usenet persona adopted by a human for amusement value or as a means of avoiding negative repercussions of one's net.behaviour; a "nom de Usenet", often associated with forged postings designed to conceal message origins. Perhaps the best-known and funniest hoax of this type is BIFF.
2. Notionally, a flamage-generating AI program simulating a Usenet user. Many flamers have been accused of actually being such entities, despite the fact that no AI program of the required sophistication yet exists. However, in 1989 there was a famous series of forged postings that used a phrase-frequency-based travesty generator to simulate the styles of several well-known flamers; it was based on large samples of their back postings (compare Dissociated Press). A significant number of people were fooled by the forgeries, and the debate over their authenticity was settled only when the perpetrator came forward to publicly admit the hoax.
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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