Use specious to describe an argument that seems to be good, correct, or logical, but is not so. We live on the earth, therefore the earth must be the center of the universe has been proven to be a specious theory of the solar system.

Specious is pronounced "SPEE-shuhs." Something that is specious is attractive in a deceptive way, and if you follow the word's etymology, you'll see why. In Middle English, this adjective meant "attractive," from Latin speciōsus "showy, beautiful," from speciēs "appearance, kind, sort." Latin speciēs is also the source of English species.

Definitions of specious

adj plausible but false

“a specious claim”
not in accordance with the fact or reality or actuality

adj based on pretense; deceptively pleasing

gilded, meretricious
lacking sincerity

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.