Counterfeit Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Counterfeit, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Counterfeit?

It refers to the copying, duplicating, deceiving and fraud. Normally it’s the copying/faking of currency notes and coins, important documents or bond and presenting it as real and genuine in order to commit fraud.

History and Meaning of Counterfeit

Counterfeit is a term used to describe the act of imitating or replicating something with the intention of fraudulently presenting it as genuine. Historically, counterfeiting has been a prevalent issue with regards to currency, particularly with paper money, especially during times of war or economic instability. In order to combat counterfeiting, many governments have implemented security measures such as watermarks, raised printing, and holograms to make it more difficult for counterfeiters to create fake currency.

Examples of Counterfeit

  1. Mary was caught trying to use counterfeit bills at the store.
  2. The art collector learned that the painting he had purchased was a counterfeit and not an original.
  3. The athlete was accused of using counterfeit performance-enhancing drugs.
  4. The jewelry store owner suspected that the diamonds he bought were counterfeit and not real.

Legal Terms Similar to Counterfeit

  1. Forgery - the act of creating a false document or altering an existing document with the intent to deceive.
  2. Fraud - the act of intentionally deceiving someone in order to gain something of value.
  3. Piracy - the unauthorized reproduction or use of another's work, such as music or software.