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. adjective
    concocted with intent to deceive
    trumped-up charges”
    not in accordance with the fact or reality or actuality
Word Family

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