\ 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

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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


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

The actress pleaded guilty in May to conspiring to pay $15,000 to a fake charity that facilitated cheating when her daughter took the SATs for college. Kristina Sgueglia And Holly Yan, CNN, "Felicity Huffman explains her role in the college cheating scandal days before she'll be sentenced," 9 Sep. 2019 Deveny relinquished her law license in 2018 and since has been criminally charged in state and federal court with allegedly cheating a list of clients out of settlement checks. oregonlive, "Oregon State Bar opens misconduct investigation into Terry Bean’s criminal defense lawyer, Derek Ashton," 6 Sep. 2019 Matt has also not responded to Gina’s cheating allegations. Dave Quinn,, "RHOC's Gina Kirschenheiter Hopes to 'Find Peace' with Ex After Domestic Violence Charge: Source," 6 Sep. 2019 For some, taking a chance on love after cheating is not just scary, but exhausting. Jackie Pilossoph,, "Column: How to recover from infidelity in a relationship," 5 Sep. 2019 Denver is the only city in the country that asks license holders suspected of cheating to sign affidavits. Saja Hindi, The Denver Post, "Some Denver short-term rental owners are giving up their licenses, rather than risk criminal charges," 4 Sep. 2019 Walled Lake businessman Johni Semma, a restaurateur and former owner of The Coliseum — a massive, Egyptian-themed strip club on 8 Mile — pleaded guilty this week to cheating the government out of taxes and failing to file a tax return in 2012. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, "Strip club owner's cheating cost him $1.8 million — and more," 31 Aug. 2019 Let’s face it: losing is rough, and the other guy totally cheated. Matthew Gault, Time, "Tyler 'Ninja' Blevins Reveals His Top Tips for Video Game Domination," 22 Aug. 2019 Hence the concept of cheating the system and getting away with it. Ciku Kimeria, Quartz Africa, "The legacy of DJ Arafat and how he took the Coupé Décalé sound to the world," 17 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

So, 19 years in the game may be enough – even if Morton finally has the cheat codes. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "Rays All-Star Charlie Morton, peaking at 35, has no regrets about long road to stardom," 27 Aug. 2019 But there is no Max Martin or Shellback here — superproducers who helped guide her recent pop tracks — which means no cheat code. Jon Caramanica, New York Times, "Taylor Swift Emerges From the Darkness Unbroken on ‘Lover’," 23 Aug. 2019 The extra patrols are still in force, intimidating would-be fare cheats and staving off other forms of crime. Rachel Swan,, "Needles on wane in BART trains and stations, another sign of fentanyl’s rise," 7 July 2019 For all the caterwauling about steroid cheats soiling the sanctity of the record books, where are those cries now that pitchers are forced to throw slick Superballs that even Major League Baseball finally, grudgingly admitted were juiced? Henry Schulman,, "Giants get six homers — three from Mike Yastrzemski — in crazy 11-inning victory," 17 Aug. 2019 Okay, this one’s a bit of a cheat, because there are simply no bad times to train through Switzerland. Kaitlin Menza, Town & Country, "Here’s How to Take a Train Trip Through the Swiss Alps," 20 July 2019 To many runners and race historians, Ms. Ruiz was less a feminist trailblazer than a brazen course-cutter and an unrepentant cheat. Harrison Smith, Washington Post, "Rosie Ruiz, who ‘won’ Boston Marathon but skipped most of the race, dies at 66," 7 Aug. 2019 Ryan Braun, another Biogenesis cheat who was suspended, still is booed. San Francisco Chronicle, "Lovable Bartolo Colon gets a pass, unlike other PED users," 17 Apr. 2018 And this time around, for Nadella, no cheat codes or power-ups will save the day. Jonathan Vanian, Fortune, "Satya Nadella Cheated at ‘Civilization,’ Now He Wants to Conquer Cloud Gaming: A Q&A With Microsoft’s CEO," 27 July 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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Learn More about cheat

Dictionary Entries near cheat


cheap thrill





cheat fate

Statistics for cheat

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cheat

The first known use of cheat was in 1590

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More Definitions for cheat



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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cheat

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cheat

Spanish Central: Translation of cheat

Nglish: Translation of cheat for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cheat for Arabic Speakers

Comments on cheat

What made you want to look up cheat? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


authorized for issue (as a bond)

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