Word of the Day

Thursday, March 11, 2004

apocryphal

\uh-POK-ruh-fuhl\ , adjective;
1.
of doubtful authorship or authenticity.
2.
Ecclesiastical. a. (initial capital letter) of or pertaining to the Apocrypha. b. of doubtful sanction; uncanonical.
3.
false; spurious: He told an apocryphal story about the sword, but the truth was later revealed.
Quotes:
This dialogue is fictitious, apocryphal, and libellous, and also deeply immoral, it respects neither throne nor altar…
-- José Saramago, translated by Giovanni Pontiero, Baltasar and Blimunda, 1987
The story may be apocryphal, but attorneys and executives who know Geffen are more than willing to believe it--a tribute to his talent for corporate intrigue.
-- Fred Goodman, "Who's the Biggest Hollywood?" Spy, April, 1991
Origin:
Apocryphal is derived from the Greek term apókryphos meaning "hidden, unknown, spurious." Apocrypha was the name of a group of 14 books originally included in some versions of the Old Testament that were excluded from the Sacred Canon at Reformation for their disputed authenticity. Apocryphal entered English in the late 1500s.
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