From Middle English false, fals, from Old English fals ("false; counterfeit; fraudulent; wrong; mistaken"), from Latin falsus ("counterfeit, false; falsehood"), perfect passive participle of fallō. Reinforced in Middle English by Anglo-Norman and Old French fals, faus. Compare Scots fals, false, Saterland Frisian falsk, German falsch, Dutch vals, Swedish and Danish falsk; all from Latin falsus. Displaced native Middle English les, lese, from Old English lēas; See lease, leasing. faux.
The verb is from Middle English falsen, falsien, from Old French falser, from Latin falsō ("falsify"), itself also from falsus; compare French fausser ("to falsify, to distort").
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