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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
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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 18, 2004
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Anyone who takes the effort to look or act differently than they normally would to impress others. Usually very embarrassing to watch, though entertaining if it is someone you don't like. Almost always obvious.
1. You ought to go to a boy's school sometimes. Try it sometime. It's full of phonies, and all you do is study so that you can learn enough to be smart enough to be able to buy a goddam Cadillac some day, and you have to keep making believe you give a damn if the football team loses, and all you do is talk about girls and liquor and sex all day, and everybody sticks together in these dirty little goddam cliques. The guys that are on the basketball team stick together, the goddam intellectuals stick together, the guys that play bridge stick together. Even the guys that belong to the goddam Book-of-the-Month Club stick together.

2. "Fuck. I fucking hate them fucking shitty ass phonies. Fuck them all."
"Shut up, phony."
by clockwrist April 22, 2008
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Jacob tried to sell me a phony Rolex watch.

Marcus told a phony story about how he stole a Caddilac Escalade.
by Knowledge November 09, 2003
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something that isnt what it actually is, or someone pretending to be someone they are not.
Ryan Smith is a phony.
by Dick_Darlington July 23, 2004
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A kind of person, usually very stupid. Usually wears Abercrombie, Hollister, and American Eagle to fit in. Very materialistic and superficial.The boys act tough and strong and the girls act ditzy and slutty. Very hard to go to school with or even just to talk to. Basically everybody at school.
Everybody is a goddamn phony.
by meshack November 16, 2007
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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
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