trumped-up

Something that's trumped-up is faked or fabricated to use as an excuse. You might be tempted to tell your parents a trumped-up story about a mean math teacher to explain a bad grade.

When you hear about someone being arrested on "trumped-up charges," that means that they've been falsely accused. There's a sense of exaggeration in this term, as well—if your excuse for being late is trumped-up, you're concocting extra details to make it sound more impressive. Trumped-up was first recorded in the early 18th century, and it comes from the idiomatic trump up, "devise deceitfully or dishonestly."

Definitions of trumped-up
1

adj concocted with intent to deceive

trumped-up charges”
Synonyms:
false
not in accordance with the fact or reality or actuality

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.