\ 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

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 Use a pencil to add hair-like strokes on top of the powder to cheat texture. Felicity Carter, Forbes, 13 Sep. 2021 Female great tit songbirds check out male singing contests, then cheat on their mates with more dominant tweeters. Max G. Levy, Wired, 9 Sep. 2021 However, when the two outside safeties cheat up, the Razorbacks can get burned. Ross Fisher, Dallas News, 8 Sep. 2021 The consumer group alleges Daimler manipulated diesel engines to cheat on emission rules, VZBV said in a statement., 7 July 2021 Prosecutors allege that parents paid Singer between $15,000 and $6.5 million to cheat the college admissions system., 6 Sep. 2021 The term Red Mountain is a reference to the color of the drooping brome or cheat grass that grows on the mountain. Joseph V Micallef, Forbes, 2 Sep. 2021 To pay for their plan, Democrats are calling for tax hikes on corporations and the wealthiest earners, as well as beefing up the IRS in order to generate more revenue by cracking down on people who cheat or underpay on their taxes. Paul Steinhauser, Fox News, 24 Aug. 2021 In its lawsuit, Matrix accuses Pitts and the other former employees of conspiring with one particular client to cheat Matrix out of fees. Chris Hays,, 6 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun There are cake baking papers, two steamer baskets, a steamer rack, a non-stick springform pan, an egg rack, an egg bites mold, kitchen tongs, dish plate clip, two oven mitts, three magnetic cheat sheets and more. Chris Hachey, BGR, 4 May 2021 The girdle — a gift from his mother, the sorceress Morgan Le Fay (Sarita Choudhury) — is emblematic of his cheat-code approach toward honor. Nate Jones, Vulture, 10 Aug. 2021 Century Lake in Malibu Creek State Park is a bit of a cheat. Los Angeles Times, 29 July 2021 Perhaps the greatest threat to the golden eagle and other animals that inhabit the sagebrush-steppe system is raging wildfires that have taken out the sagebrush and left invasive cheat grass in its place. Amy Joi O'donoghue, USA TODAY, 2 Aug. 2021 The Volkswagen diesel-cheat scandal and the bankruptcies of General Motors and Chrysler weakened auto industry clout. Los Angeles Times, 30 July 2021 That’s an unbeatable price, especially considering how wonderfully useful these cheat sheets are. Maren Estrada, BGR, 5 July 2021 But hold on, there's an inherent cheat built into the format, lacking even the courage of its slim conceit, since everyone -- stripped of their prosthetic appliances -- is attractive by conventional standards and those of the genre. Brian Lowry, CNN, 20 July 2021 Battlefield are popular targets for cheat-makers, and therefore, source code hackers. Cecilia D'anastasio, Wired, 10 June 2021

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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Last Updated

21 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cheat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Sep. 2021.

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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, 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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