Word of the Day: specious
origin: from Latin "speciosus," meaning "plausible";
from the Latin "species," meaning "outward appearance";
from the Latin "specere," meaning "to look at"
1. Apparently correct or true, but actually wrong or false.
"I have frequently amused myself both in public and private
companies with, silently remarking, the specious errors of
those who speak without reflecting."
--Thomas Paine, "Common Sense"
"Honest and even enlightened men are sometimes misled
by the specious and plausible statements of the designing."
--Andrew Jackson, "Farewell Address," March 4, 1837, commenting
on his veto of the Bank of the United States charter renewal
2. Deceptively attractive in appearance.
"...a dangerous ambition more often lurks behind the specious
mask of zeal for the rights of the people than under the
forbidden appearance of zeal for the firmness and efficiency
--Alexander Hamilton, "The Federalist Papers"
"...the Carthaginians sent away twenty of their galleys to
Rhegium, having aboard them certain ambassadors from Hicetes
to Timoleon, who carried instructions suitable to these
proceedings, specious amusements, and plausible stories, to
colour and conceal dishonest purposes."
--Plutarch, "Timoleon," translated by John Dryden
Publish Date: 01/20/2011