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verb de·ceive \di-ˈsēv\

Simple Definition of deceive

  • : to make (someone) believe something that is not true

Full Definition of deceive


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 archaic :  ensnare

  3. 2 a obsolete :  to be false to b archaic :  to fail to fulfill

  4. 3 obsolete :  cheat

  5. 4 :  to cause to accept as true or valid what is false or invalid

  6. 5 archaic :  to while away

  7. intransitive verb
  8. :  to practice deceit; also :  to give a false impression <appearances can deceive>

de·ceiv·er noun
de·ceiv·ing·ly play \-ˈsē-viŋ-lē\ adverb

Examples of deceive

  1. Her parents punished her for trying to deceive them.

  2. He was accused of deceiving the customer about the condition of the car.

  3. People who think they can eat whatever they want without harming their health are deceiving themselves.

  4. Remember that appearances can deceive—just because something looks good doesn't mean it is good.

Origin of deceive

Middle English, from Anglo-French deceivre, from Latin decipere, from de- + capere to take — more at heave

First Known Use: 13th century

Synonym Discussion of deceive

deceive, mislead, delude, beguile mean to lead astray or frustrate usually by underhandedness. deceive implies imposing a false idea or belief that causes ignorance, bewilderment, or helplessness <tried to deceive me about the cost>. mislead implies a leading astray that may or may not be intentional <I was misled by the confusing sign>. delude implies deceiving so thoroughly as to obscure the truth <we were deluded into thinking we were safe>. beguile stresses the use of charm and persuasion in deceiving <was beguiled by false promises>.

Seen and Heard

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February 10, 2016

to put in good humor

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