\ 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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Other Words from cheat


cheater noun

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

Tom is also a cuckold: Shiv is cheating on him with her ex Nate (Ashley Zukerman), a floppy-haired political operative. Meredith Blake,, "Matthew Macfadyen is as mortified by ‘Succession’ as you are," 12 Aug. 2019 Huffman was arrested and charged for paying $15,000 to facilitate cheating on her daughter Sofia’s SAT test by having a proctor correct the teen’s answers. Aurelie Corinthios,, "Lifetime's College Admissions Scandal Movie Casts Penelope Ann Miller and Mia Kirshner," 12 Aug. 2019 Thankfully, Ian doesn’t have a fitness influencer wife who’s cheating on him. Blake Bakkila, Good Housekeeping, "Here Are All the 'BH90210' Stars' Relationship Statuses in Real Life," 8 Aug. 2019 People may not understand the fine points of campaign finance, but everybody knows what cheating on your wife is. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Hunter leads opponents in second quarter fundraising, but burns a lot of cash," 16 July 2019 Larry Duncan, the former board president of Dallas' now-defunct school bus agency, was sentenced in April to six months of home confinement for cheating on his taxes by not reporting income from a vendor. Kevin Krause, Dallas News, "Middleman who funneled bribes to Dallas school bus agency officials in corruption scandal gets prison time," 9 July 2019 At Singer's direction, Masera would dole out the money -- usually $10,000 per student -- to those who helped the students cheat on standardized tests. Eric Levenson, CNN, "Ex-USC soccer coach and accountant plead guilty in college admissions scandal," 27 June 2019 Investigators soon learned Barbara was cheating on her husband. Matt Goldfarb, CBS News, "Investigation of airman's brutal murder in Japan uncovers deception, fraud and witchcraft," 19 June 2019 The couple split earlier this year after allegations surfaced that Thompson cheated with Kylie Jenner's best friend, Jordyn Woods. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Khloé Kardashian Addresses Rumors Tristan Thompson Left His Pregnant Girlfriend for Her," 12 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 The wealthiest, sexiest teens in Spain lie, cheat, and murder each other. Kaitlin Reilly,, "The Best Teen Shows To Watch On Netflix," 25 June 2019 But that idea vaporizes in the wake of a deus ex machina cheat. Ann Hornaday,, "'The Dead Don't Die' review: Jim Jarmusch's zombie tale lumbers along," 13 June 2019 Going to an actual amusement park feels like a cheat code — and everything looks suspiciously clockwork, the first carnival without carnies. Darren Franich,, "Toy Story 4 goes beyond endings, with mixed results: EW review," 13 June 2019 Lawmakers even set up an anonymous hotline to receive tips about potential cheats. Bryce Covert, The New Republic, "The Myth of the Welfare Queen," 2 July 2019 The honest women and men who pay their taxes dutifully deserve to know that tax cheats face time in federal prison. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Muskego man gets prison for not paying taxes on his DJ and event business income," 1 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

16 Aug 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).


a usually brief trip or an expedition

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