ring false

ring false

Also, have a false or hollow ring ; strike a false note. Seem wrong or deceitful, as in Her denial rings false-I'm sure she was there when it happened, or His good wishes always seem to have a hollow ring, or Carol's congratulatory phone call really struck a false note. Ring false and the antonym, ring true, which means "seem genuine," allude to the old practice of judging a coin genuine or fake by the sound it gives out when tapped. This practice became obsolete when coins ceased to be made of precious metals, but by then the idioms were being used to refer to other matters. [Mid-1800s]
See also: false, ring
References in periodicals archive ?
The Electronic Payments Association has contended the retailer's complaints about the settlement ring false because retailers who brought suit had been present in all the negotiations.
Forgiveness without limit and forgiveness from the heart are two of Christianity's most staggering challenges; nevertheless, to refuse these challenges or to try to skirt or ignore them would make our claim to belong to God ring false.
Yet with the recent announcement that Lombard's personality and poor management style is to blame for the deaths of employees, among FT's other woes, the assertion of "pure business" starts to ring false.
Non-Western artists, however, were not the first group to encounter such a double bind: Feminists did so before them, and found a solution in the rallying cry "the personal is political," an insight which is finally what is missing from Echakhch's striking installations, and whose absence makes a bold image ring false.
They offer statements to the public, sounding sincere and concerned, but if their actions fail to support their statements, their initial message will soon ring false.
Berg's obvious enthusiasm for the boom-boom makes the movie's tacked-on moral ring false.
These many nature passages contain the best writing in the book; they rarely ring false or strain too hard; they are strikingly, simply, eloquent.
Some of the book's statements about Scottish education must ring false to those who experienced it before the author did.
The 'imagined conversations' between Sylvia and her mother, the menage a trois that grew when Assia Wevill became the 'other woman' who wreaked destruction (killing herself and Ted's daughter Shura some years later), the conversations with neighbours, all ring false.
Some might find Breck's Southern dialect too rich--like gumbo followed by a heavy dessert--but while it seems so at first, it truly succeeds in capturing the spirit and history of the characters in the Wimbley family (and to a Southern ear) doesn't ring false.
If there is an unfortunate aspect to her style, it lies in her intermittent use of similes which ring false.
Since an external narrator should know better, such protestations ring false.
Amid all the action, Greengrass doesn't neglect the psychological side of Bourne's dilemma; so when there is an emotional payoff at the end, it doesn't ring false.
And the claims that police can't track the false alarms on their computer systems ring false, she said.
Claims that the proposed policy change will result in more quality patrol time by police officers ring false to Tony Lucente, president of the Studio City Residents Association.