\ ˈchēt How to pronounce cheat (audio) \
cheated; cheating; cheats

Definition of cheat

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to deprive of something valuable by the use of deceit or fraud cheated the elderly couple out of their property
2 : to influence or lead by deceit, trick, or artifice a young man who cheated young women into marrying him when he was already married
3 : to elude or thwart by or as if by outwitting cheat death

intransitive verb

1a : to practice fraud or trickery denied the accusation that he cheated
b : to violate rules dishonestly cheat at cards cheating on a test
2 : to be sexually unfaithful usually used with onwas cheating on his wife
3 : to position oneself defensively near a particular area in anticipation of a play in that area the shortstop was cheating toward second base



Definition of cheat (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act or an instance of fraudulently deceiving : deception, fraud His financial activity turned out to be a great cheat.
2 or cheat code : a code (such as a button combination or password) that activates a hidden feature or capability in a computer or video game In fact, some game levels are so tough that I had to resort to cheats to get through.— Peter Cohen Most people think that using a cheat code is the only way to earn a dishonest reward …— Christopher Breen
3 : one that cheats : pretender, deceiver is a liar and a cheat tax cheats
4 [probably from a deceptive resemblance to grain]
5 : the obtaining of property from another by an intentional active distortion of the truth

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Choose the Right Synonym for cheat


cheat, cozen, defraud, swindle mean to get something by dishonesty or deception. cheat suggests using trickery that escapes observation. cheated me out of a dollar cozen implies artful persuading or flattering to attain a thing or a purpose. always able to cozen her grandfather out of a few dollars defraud stresses depriving one of his or her rights and usually connotes deliberate perversion of the truth. defrauded of her inheritance by an unscrupulous lawyer swindle implies large-scale cheating by misrepresentation or abuse of confidence. swindled of their savings by con artists

Examples of cheat in a Sentence

Verb The players were accused of cheating. I had to cheat in order to solve the puzzle. The store cheats its customers through false advertising. They cheated him out of a fair deal. a heroin addict who has cheated death many times
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Russia’s actions, part of an organized scheme laid out last month in an 88-page report produced by investigators from the World Anti-Doping Agency, have also made determining which athletes cheated — and which did not — a Sisyphean challenge. Tariq Panja, New York Times, "Russian Doping Blurs Innocence and Guilt, With Olympics Caught in Middle," 2 Dec. 2019 The incentives for cheating go beyond the convenience of being able to bring your animal into off-limits locations; pet travel fees on airlines are typically in the hundreds of dollars. Cindy Dampier,, "New federal rules for emotional support animals on planes are coming. Here’s why veterans with service dogs support restrictions— and some disability advocates don’t," 29 Nov. 2019 Tender moments are for romantic and dated network comedies, not the white supremacist game show host who cheats his way to power. Essence, "These Debates Are Turning Into Background Noise," 21 Nov. 2019 The beating was so severe that the Texans are now going to follow the example of Houston’s baseball team and start cheating rampantly like the Astros. Kevin Cusick, Twin Cities, "The Loop NFL Picks: Week 12," 20 Nov. 2019 The recently cheated-on Gus is newly single and still coping with his breakup. Brianna Holt, Quartz, "TV and film play an understated role in perpetuating racial bias on dating apps," 7 Nov. 2019 In the video, which has over 6 million views, Jarvis gets visibly upset while admitting to cheating and apologizing to fans and Epic Games. Elizabeth Wolfe And Brian Ries, CNN, "A Fortnite superstar has been banned for life for cheating," 6 Nov. 2019 And most of all, the fans probably feel more than a little cheated by how the team has played this season. Terry Pluto, cleveland, "Cleveland Browns: Feeling sad, angry and more than a little cheated by how they’ve played," 4 Nov. 2019 In this year’s college admissions scandal—a gift that keeps on giving—virtue-signaling celebrities like Felicity Huffman were caught bribing or cheating their way into elite colleges. Dwight Garner, Town & Country, "Are We All Living in the World Roy Cohn Created?," 20 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Ride-hailing alternatives like Uber and Lyft have siphoned away BART passengers frustrated with filthy stations, murders, assaults, robberies and fare cheats. John Woolfolk, The Mercury News, "BART board names insider as new general manager," 25 July 2019 For business builders, remote teams seem like a cheat code for expanding a talented workforce with limited resources. Alexander Torrenegra, Quartz at Work, "Remote work wooed us with its perks but do we know where it’s taking us?," 4 Nov. 2019 Here’s an early look at how the Hoosiers’ roster shapes up in 2019-20: The cheat code? Zach Osterman, Indianapolis Star, "Meet the Hoosiers: How IU basketball's roster shapes up heading into 2019-20 season," 25 Oct. 2019 Here’s an early look at how the Hoosiers’ roster shapes up in 2019-20: The cheat code? Zach Osterman, The Courier-Journal, "Meet the Hoosiers: Get to know the 2019-2020 Indiana basketball players and their roles," 25 Oct. 2019 The signing of Kánte provides almost a cheat code to get around these problems., "N'Golo Kante: The Missing Piece in the Real Madrid Puzzle," 13 Sep. 2019 Founded in 2014, Keybase was created by the entrepreneurs behind OkCupid, the dating service, and SparkNotes, the online cheat-sheet. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "With Facebook Libra Coin Tied Up, Rival Uses Free Cryptocurrency ‘Airdrop’ as Lure," 9 Sep. 2019 For the record, his cheat food is chocolate, specifically Unreal Candy. Deyscha Smith,, "12 things we learned from the ‘Men’s Health’ Tom Brady profile," 6 Aug. 2019 The Trump view that the Chinese leadership consists of liars and cheats generally is not embraced in Canada, though Conservatives are calling for a much tougher line against that rising economic power. David Shribman, Los Angeles Times, "Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is vulnerable in next month’s election," 12 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cheat.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cheat


1590, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1615, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cheat

Noun and Verb

earlier cheat forfeited property, from Middle English chet escheat, short for eschete — more at escheat

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Time Traveler for cheat

Time Traveler

The first known use of cheat was in 1590

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Statistics for cheat

Last Updated

6 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Cheat.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 11 December 2019.

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More Definitions for cheat


How to pronounce cheat (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of cheat

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to break a rule or law usually to gain an advantage at something
: to take something from (someone) by lying or breaking a rule
: to prevent (someone) from having something that he or she deserves or was expecting to get



English Language Learners Definition of cheat (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person who cheats


\ ˈchēt How to pronounce cheat (audio) \
cheated; cheating

Kids Definition of cheat

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to use unfair or dishonest methods to gain an advantage cheat on a test cheat at cards
2 : to take something away from or keep from having something by dishonest tricks “Old Mr. Peterson was cheated of his money by a dishonest agent …”— Janet Shaw, Meet Kirsten

Other Words from cheat

cheater \ ˈchē-​tər \ noun



Kids Definition of cheat (Entry 2 of 2)

: a dishonest person

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More from Merriam-Webster on cheat

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cheat

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cheat

Spanish Central: Translation of cheat

Nglish: Translation of cheat for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cheat for Arabic Speakers

Comments on cheat

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heavy with or as if with moisture

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