ring false(redirected from have a false)
To seem or sound false, insincere, inauthentic, or deceitful. (Much less common than the opposite, "ring true.") I personally think that their reasoning rings a bit false. The actor's vacuous, overblown performance is sure to ring false for anyone who grew up in that part of the country.
To seem or sound true, sincere, or authentic. I personally don't think that their reasoning rings true. The actress's stirring performance really rings true for anyone who has gone through similar circumstances.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
Fig. to sound or seem true or likely. (From testing the quality of metal or glass by striking it and evaluating the sound made.) The student's excuse for being late doesn't ring true. Do you think that Mary's explanation for her absence rang true?
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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 under ring false.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
If something that is said or written rings true, it seems to be true or sincere. It is Mandela's argument that rings true to American ears. When I first heard his reasons, they didn't ring true. Compare with ring hollow.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
ring ˈtrue/ˈfalse/ˈhollowseem true/false/insincere: What you’ve said about Jim just doesn’t ring true. Are we talking about the same person? ♢ His apology rings a little hollow.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017