We can say: "that man is a fraud", what word can I use in "the theory of relativity is a...fraud"?

I am looking for a word that carries the same severe negative connotation

  • 2
    Are you specifically looking for a noun? The adjective fraudulent could be applied, though it's not necessarily the best fit. Because the theory in and of itself cannot actually act in a deceitful manner, it cannot act deceitfully. You could say that a given theory "is bunk," reference for that word here. – batpigandme Sep 26 '14 at 13:29
  • I gave an example: "relativity,," the word must fit. 'hoax' is a deliberate prank, 'swindle' regards money etc, – user92175 Sep 26 '14 at 14:23
  • Fraud itself is perfectly acceptable. It can be used for both the fraudulent act and the person who commits the act. – Neil W Sep 26 '14 at 14:53

Hoax for frauds conceptual, swindle for frauds practical. A peek into a thesaurus might reveal things like hoodwinking too...


the theory of relativity is a fallacy

As defined by TFD

fal·la·cy (fl-s)
n. pl. fal·la·cies
1. A false notion.
2. A statement or an argument based on a false or invalid inference.
3. Incorrectness of reasoning or belief; erroneousness.
4. The quality of being deceptive.

To one imbued from infancy with the fascinating fallacy that all men are born equal, unquestioning submission to authority is not easily mastered, and the American volunteer soldier in his "green and salad days" is among the worst known.

possible synonyms include: misconception, misbelief, delusion, misinterpretation misconstruction, untruth, myth.

  • 1
    Fallacy doesn't carry the unethical slant as fraud does. – R Sahu Sep 30 '14 at 2:29

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