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Webster 1913 Edition


Specious

Spe′cious

,
Adj.
[L.
speciosus
good-looking, beautiful, specious, fr.
species
look, show, appearance; cf. F.
spécoeux
. See
Species
.]
1.
Presenting a pleasing appearance; pleasing in form or look; showy.
Some [serpents]
specious
and beautiful to the eye.
Bp. Richardson.
The rest, far greater part,
Will deem in outward rites and
specious
forms
Religion satisfied.
Milton.
2.
Apparently right; superficially fair, just, or correct, but not so in reality; appearing well at first view; plausible;
as,
specious
reasoning; a
specious
argument.
Misled for a moment by the
specious
names of religion, liberty, and property.
Macaulay.
In consequence of their greater command of
specious
expression.
J. Morley.
Syn. – Plausible; showy; ostensible; colorable; feasible. See
Plausible
.
Spe′xious-ly
(#)
,
adv.
Spe′cious-ness
,
Noun.

Webster 1828 Edition


Specious

SPE'CIOUS

,
Adj.
[L. speciosus.]
1.
Showy; pleasing to the view. The rest, far greater part will deem in outward rites and specious form religion satisfied.
2.
Apparently right; superficially fair, just or correct' plausible; appearing well at first view; as specious reasoning; a specious argument; a specious objection; specious deeds. Temptation is of greater danger, because it is covered with the specious names of good nature, good manners, nobleness of mind, &c.

Definition 2021


specious

specious

English

Adjective

specious (comparative more specious, superlative most specious)

  1. Seemingly well-reasoned, plausible or true, but actually fallacious.
    This idea that we must see through what we have started is specious, however good it may sound.
    • 1776, Thomas Paine, Common Sense,
      I have frequently amused myself both in public and private companies, with silently remarking, the specious errors of those who speak without reflecting.
  2. Who or that uses fallacious but deceptively plausible arguments, deceitful.
    • 1829, William Phelan, Mortimer O'Sullivan, Ireland: A digest taken before Select Committees of the two Houses of Parliament, appointed to inquire into the State of Ireland, 1824—25, in The Christian Review and Clerical Magazine, Volume III, page 472,
      But a third cause of the delusion is, that the Church of Rome has become more specious and deceitful than before the Reformation.
  3. Having an attractive appearance intended to generate a favorable response; deceptively attractive.
    • 1760, William Warburton, The Lord Bishop of Gloucester's Sermon Preached Before the Right Honourable the House of Lords, January 30, 1760, page 19,
      And could any thing be more ſpecious, or more equal, than that fair diſtribution of power and profit, which men called the NEW MODEL?
  4. (obsolete) Beautiful, pleasing to look at.

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