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specious

used in a sentence
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Definition seemingly good, but without merit

or:

insincere, but seemingly good

At one time, specious meant pleasing, but is seldom encountered with that meaning today.
  • It's just another specious-sounding miracle diet.
specious = seemingly good, but without merit
  • a specious claim
  • A specious pretext.
    Sophocles  --  Antigone
  • And all the while, lest one should be in any doubt as to the reality which Goldstein's specious claptrap covered, behind his head on the telescreen there marched the endless columns of the Eurasian army — row after row of solid-looking men with expressionless Asiatic faces, who swam up to the surface of the screen and vanished, to be replaced by others exactly similar.
    George Orwell  --  1984
  • specious = seemingly good, but without merit
  • He then, by a specious argument, prevented her from going, and so had the chance for which he had waited.
    Arthur Conan Doyle  --  The Hound of the Baskervilles
  • specious = insincere, but seemingly good
  • Impose the death penalty and let the law take its course in spite of the specious call for sympathy!
    Richard Wright  --  Native Son
  • specious = insincere, but seemingly good
  • Specious allegations get us nowhere.
    Stephenie Meyer  --  Breaking Dawn
  • specious = meritless
  • but speciously for Master Fenton
    William Shakespeare  --  The Merry Wives of Windsor
  • speciously = seemingly good, but without merit
  • This was the question he had always had to answer speciously before.
    Robert M. Pirsig  --  Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
  • speciously = falsely (seemingly good, but without merit)
  • No, sir, but the facts might be met speciously enough.
    Arthur Conan Doyle  --  The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
  • speciously = seemingly to indicate something, but not really proving it
  • could ...give you a thousand specious reasons...
    William Faulkner  --  Absalom, Absalom!
  • specious = seemingly good, but without merit
  • It's going to be all right, Lewis had promised, although she did not understand how he could make so specious a statement.
    Jodi Picoult  --  Nineteen Minutes
  • specious = seemingly good, but not true
  • Ralph had been deceived before now by the specious appearance of depth in a beach pool and he approached this one preparing to be disappointed.
    William Golding  --  Lord of the Flies
  • specious = seemingly good, but without merit
  • A specious pretext.
    Sophocles  --  Antigone
  • specious = seemingly good, but without merit
  • This specious validity of the self-fulfilling prophecy perpetuates a reign of error. For the prophet will cite the actual course of events as proof that he was right from the very beginning.
    Malcolm Gladwell  --  Outliers
  • specious = seemingly good, but without merit
  • In this there was much that reminded me of the specious totality of old wood-work which has rotted for long years in some neglected vault, with no disturbance from the breath of the external air.
    Edgar Allan Poe  --  The Fall of the House of Usher
  • specious = seemingly good, but without merit
  • And although she believed that the iyi-uwa which had been dug up was genuine, she could not ignore the fact that some really evil children sometimes misled people into digging up a specious one.
    Chinua Achebe  --  Things Fall Apart
  • specious = seemingly good, but false
  • He then, by a specious argument, prevented her from going, and so had the chance for which he had waited.
    Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan  --  The Hound of the Baskervilles
  • O'CONNELL, "under what specious term it may disguise itself, slavery is still hideous."
    Douglass, Frederick  --  Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass An American Slave
  • You are a specious fellow,' returned Sir John, fixing his eyes upon him, 'and carry two faces under your hood, as well as the best.
    Dickens, Charles  --  Barnaby Rudge - A Tale Of The Riots Of 'Eighty

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