Definition of beguile
- beguiled her classmates into doing the work for her
- His seductive voice beguiled the audience.
- beguiled into ambush
- had intended to beguile
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She was cunning enough to beguile her classmates into doing the work for her.
They were beguiled into thinking they'd heard the whole story.
Almost everything in the quaint little town beguiles, from its architecture to its art to its people.
He beguiled the audience with his smooth and seductive voice.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'beguile.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
A number of English words have traveled a rather curious path from meanings related to deception or trickery to something less unwelcome. A prime example is beguile, which first appeared in English around the 13th century in the sense “to lead or draw by deception.” For the next several centuries, most of the senses of the verb had to do, in one manner or another, with deceiving. Around the time of Shakespeare, however, the word took on a new sense, “to charm.” In a similar vein, fun was first recorded at the end of the 17th century as a verb meaning “to hoax or trick (someone).” It wasn’t until the middle of the 19th century that it began to be used as an adjective indicating that something was enjoyable. Amuse likewise started its life as a verb meaning “to divert the attention of (as from the truth or one's real intent).”
bamboozle, bluff, buffalo, burn, catch, con, cozen, deceive, delude, dupe, fake out, fool, gaff, gull, have, hoax, hoodwink, humbug, juggle, misguide, misinform, mislead, snow, spoof, string along, take in, trick;
do a number on, lead one down the garden path (also lead one up the garden path), pull one's leg, pull the wool over one's eyes;
What made you want to look up beguile? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
having a quality expressive of sadness
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