\ 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 on was 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

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
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The test-taking savant who helped rich kids cheat their way into elite colleges was sentenced Friday. Zachary B. Wolf, CNN, 9 Apr. 2022 First, to cheat on standardized tests for students whose parents paid; and second, to use Singer's connections with college sports coaches and use bribes to get paying parents' kids into school with fake athletic credentials. Jason Hanna, CNN, 8 Apr. 2022 Chico and his herd did cheat death, but they weren’t freed either—not exactly. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, 13 Mar. 2022 And both suggest that the impulse to cheat, cut corners and get over on chumps, if not inflict harm upon them outright, is far from some aberrant pathology in the American identity but rather a constitutive force. New York Times, 9 Feb. 2022 He’s also fascinated by the forces of decay and impermanence, and the possibility of using technology to cheat them or at least slow them down. Justin Changfilm Critic, Los Angeles Times, 7 Apr. 2022 Police have already proven themselves to constantly lie, cheat, and steal to protect their own — guilty or not — regardless of the facts of the case (let the Chicago Police Department stand as a blatant example). Ernest Owens, Rolling Stone, 12 Feb. 2022 As Lee Drutman argues at Vox, trying to cheat with map boundaries would be largely pointless. Ryan Cooper, The Week, 18 Nov. 2021 Especially when their security and core interests are at stake, nations have strong interests to cheat. John Yoo, National Review, 30 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun And in 2019, GTA Online cheat maker Jhonny Perez was ordered to pay $150,000 over similar copyright claims. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, 2 May 2022 The ones who lie and cheat are a tiny minority of successful people. Sun Yi, Forbes, 14 Apr. 2022 At that time, proving that Hayward was, in fact, a liar, a scoundrel, a cheat and a swindler didn’t constitute a defense. Washington Post, 14 Mar. 2022 Lygdbäck sat down with EW to talk about his cozy cheat day weekends with Skarsgård, the magic of cold potatoes, and the true love of The Northman's star's life. Clarissa Cruz,, 24 Apr. 2022 Johnson's cheat meals can cater to his sweet tooth too. Giovana Gelhoren,, 14 Mar. 2022 Then, of course, there are his cheat days, which have become somewhat legendary, where Johnson will scarf down upwards of 10,000 calories in his favorite indulgent meals, including pizzas, sushi, and French toast. Philip Ellis, Men's Health, 12 Mar. 2022 The cheat-code styling makes the Navi’s presentation less like a scooter and more like a superbike of elfish proportions. Dan Neil, WSJ, 4 Mar. 2022 Some were low comedy, such as the case of Ann Moore, exposed as a cheat in 1813. Emily Burack, Town & Country, 16 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

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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Last Updated

12 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Cheat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for cheat


\ 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, an American Girl

Other Words from cheat

cheater \ ˈchē-​tər \ noun



Kids Definition of cheat (Entry 2 of 2)

: a dishonest person

More from Merriam-Webster on cheat

Nglish: Translation of cheat for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cheat for Arabic Speakers


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