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
  1. adjective
    plausible but false
    “a specious claim”
    synonyms: spurious
    not in accordance with the fact or reality or actuality
  2. adjective
    based on pretense; deceptively pleasing
    synonyms: gilded, meretricious
    lacking sincerity
Cite this entry
  • MLA
  • APA
  • Chicago

Copy citation
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘specious'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
Word Family

Look up specious for the last time

Close your vocabulary gaps with personalized learning that focuses on teaching the words you need to know.

VocabTrainer -'s Vocabulary Trainer