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What is single word in English for a fake/false image (in terms of personality, not in terms of photograph) of someone?

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Please can you add in an example sentence to show how you would use the word? –  Matt E. Эллен Jul 15 '12 at 15:57

4 Answers 4

Facade ("A deceptive outward appearance") may suit. Also consider disguise, persona ("a role or character adopted by an author or an actor"), and masquerade ("Acting or living under false pretenses; concealment of something by a false or unreal show; pretentious show; disguise"). Trumpery ("worthless finery; bric-a-brac or junk") may be used in achieving a false image; by analogy one might call a false personality trumpery.

You may also find useful words (such as two-faced, Janus-like, deceiver, fake, double-dealer, duplicitous, polymorph, chameleon, wolf in sheep's clothing, poser, duplicitous, back-stabber, hypocrite, fraud, imposter, poseur, whited sepulcher, Devil in disguise, fool's gold, mirage, et al) in answers to the following questions:

#24216: "I'm in need of a word that describes someone who has two personalities (they don't necessarily contrast each other, good/evil)."
#72916 "What word best describes a person who is deceitful and very complicated to understand? As they say, he wears several masks."
#42404 "A character in the movie is really bad, but when she talks with others, she pretends to be an innocent/ good woman. I want to know how to describe this kind of person."
#71398 "What are common phrases that describe something that appears good but is actually bad?"

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How about beguile:

transitive verb : to lead by deception

intransitive verb : to deceive by wiles

or specious:

2: having deceptive attraction or allure
3: having a false look of truth or genuineness : sophistic

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For someones personality I would use: ( in order )

  1. Disingenuous
  2. Phony
  3. Factitious
  4. Hypocritical
  5. Artificial
  6. Two Faced
  7. Jive Turkey
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Not a noun, but one adjective that is extremely common for this is "photoshopped" regardless of what image editing package was used.

Did you see this photo of President Obama with a bunch of playboy bunnies?

Dude, it's photoshopped.
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Oops, the question specifies image in the sense of persona, not photo... –  Daniel Harbour Jul 15 '12 at 21:13
Oh, yeah, so what is a single word for a person who doesn't read the question carefully enough? :-) –  Fraser Orr Jul 16 '12 at 16:42

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