ring false

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ring 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.
See also: false, ring

ring true

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.
See also: ring, true
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

ring true

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?
See also: ring, true
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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

ring true

see under ring false.
See also: ring, true
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.

ring true

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.
See also: ring, true
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

ring ˈtrue/ˈfalse/ˈhollow

seem 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.
See also: false, hollow, ring, true
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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