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[spyoo r-ee-uh s] /ˈspyʊər i əs/
not genuine, authentic, or true; not from the claimed, pretended, or proper source; counterfeit.
Biology. (of two or more parts, plants, etc.) having a similar appearance but a different structure.
of illegitimate birth; bastard.
Origin of spurious
1590-1600; < Latin spurius bastard, perhaps < Etruscan; see -ous
Related forms
spuriously, adverb
spuriousness, noun
nonspurious, adjective
nonspuriously, adverb
nonspuriousness, noun
unspurious, adjective
unspuriously, adverb
unspuriousness, noun
1. false, sham, bogus, mock, feigned, phony; meretricious, deceitful.
1. genuine. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for spurious
  • One of the myths about inoculation was that it did not produce a true smallpox in the patient but a spurious case of chicken pox.
  • Not to mention the spurious comma in the second sentence of the second paragraph.
  • They are likely to be as spurious as the economic models discussed.
  • The quote may be spurious, but it contains a grain of truth.
  • If due allowance is not made for such changes, spurious long-term trends can appear in the data.
  • The detector in the lidar is extremely sensitive and is easily upset by spurious currents.
  • Instead he was beaten up and imprisoned on spurious charges and is now in hiding in fear for his life.
  • For now, the hubris of spurious precision has given way to humility.
  • Now here is a guy who wants to resurrect it because he spotted some spurious correlations.
  • Several have brought in protectionist measures, including spurious production fees.
British Dictionary definitions for spurious


not genuine or real
(of a plant part or organ) having the appearance of another part but differing from it in origin, development, or function; false: a spurious fruit
(of radiation) produced at an undesired frequency by a transmitter, causing interference, etc
(rare) illegitimate
Derived Forms
spuriously, adverb
spuriousness, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin spurius of illegitimate birth
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 spurious

1590s, "born out of wedlock," from Latin spurius "illegitimate, false" (cf. Italian spurio, Spanish espurio), from spurius (n.) "illegitimate child," probably from Etruscan spural "public." Sense of "having an irregular origin, not properly constituted" is from c.1600; that of "false, sham" is from 1610s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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spurious in Medicine

spurious spu·ri·ous (spyur'ē-əs)
Similar in appearance or symptoms but unrelated in morphology or pathology; false.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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