Foe vs. Faux

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Foe and faux are two words that are pronounced in the same manner but are spelled differently and have different meanings, which makes them homophones. We will examine the differing definitions of foe and faux, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Foe an enemy, an adversary or an opponent. A foe is the opposite of a friend. The word foe is derived from the Old English word fāh which means feud or hostile, and the Old English word gefā which means enemy. The plural form is foes.

Faux means artificial, not real, an imitation, something false. The word faux is a French word meaning false and has been used in the English language since the 1670s. The word faux may be used by itself or as a prefix in hyphenated words such as faux-fur, faux-leather or faux-hawk.


Perhaps it’s a little harsh to name Megyn Kelly Ukraine’s foe of the week, but the TV journalist did no favors to Ukraine and her career during her June 4 interview with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin. (The Kyiv Post)

Our brains also evolved to quickly identify “friend or foe” based on predictability and commonality as a cue for safety, but this old “neuro-model,” based on a simplistic definition of “like me, not like me,” no longer suffices for contemporary relating. (The Huffington Post)

One company’s faux-meat burger will soon be available in all of Safeway’s Northern California Stores, while the other company has stuck to a slow rollout in upscale restaurants such as Cockscomb, Jardiniere and Public House. (The San Francisco Business Times)

Makeup artist Hung Vanngo turned her year-round palette of tawny nude makeup into stunning beachy excess with a single DIY-friendly detail: a smattering of faux freckles, crafted with a few dots of brown liner and an eyebrow pencil across the nose, and softened with a dab of a pinkie. (Vogue Magazine)

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