Holden Caulfield's favorite insult, an old way of saying poser.
"What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff- I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That's all I'd do all day. I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it's crazy, but that's the only thing I'd really like to be. I know it's crazy."

-Holden Caulfield.

Here he expresses how he'd like to stop people from beocming phony as they grow up.
by Ivan Martinez Autin June 18, 2006
Somebody who pretends to be something else. It's like a bad actor.
Jerry: Use it in a sentence.

Mike: Man, that Michael Jordan is so phony. (to Kramer) Why'd you tell him?!?
by ALKOHOL January 19, 2004
Something that isn't what it seems or tries to be something it isn't, or tries to be part of the system. Like two bad actors. Until they taser you, in the butt.

No one wants your autograph, phonies!
Fell to the ground
The phonies didn't let up
Tasin' on my butthole
over and over
I was screamin' and squirmin'

My butthole was on fire. - Phony = Elijah Wood and Ben Affleck.
by The Lonely Islands January 14, 2012
1. One who is captivated by their phone.

2. To intentionally misrepresent oneself on social media.
Don't be phony.
He is so phony, he never looks me in the eye.
Her Instagram feed is so phony.
by NYC1963 December 26, 2019
Phony ; Slang = punk ass bitch

A phony is a person, typically in high school or college, but they can be anywhere, who openly judges people, spreading half truths, falsehoods or disseminating personal information (i.e. Gossip) in exchange for advancing their social statuses and continuing the repression of certain things in your subconscious that lead you to feel the need to denigrate people (such as repressing sexual confusion by harassing students who are gay, lesbian, transgender or bisexual.)

The only way a phony is rehabilitated is through karma, where the alienation and defamation they've forced on those who do nothing to deserve it bites them in the ass, whether because they've learned they can't get a job just by appealing to the baser instincts of insecure people and selling out your friends, when the suffering they have incurred on others leads their victims to lead miserable lives which often end up cut short, and when they go past college age, can no longer use their popularity to wiggle away from Johnny law.

These struggles then lead phonies to realize the extent of how much they have hurt other people for petty reasons and then decide to come to terms with what they have repressed.
Man, that douchebag is such a phony, selling himself and his friends down the river for some temporarily boosted social status.
by Guess6667 August 10, 2011
This Drivers licence is Phony.
by Light Joker February 23, 2006
When you or someone else tries to generate comedy and entertainment, but it ends up being god-awful and absolutely horrible. It originates from the Youtube videos "Phony Texts" which tries to be funny but genuinely sucks.
The class-clown tried to make a funny joke, but instead it came out phony/
by Sod Bürg February 25, 2021