1 of 2


cheated; cheating; cheats

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

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


2 of 2


: the act or an instance of fraudulently deceiving : deception, fraud
His financial activity turned out to be a great cheat.
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
: one that cheats : pretender, deceiver
is a liar and a cheat
tax cheats
[probably from a deceptive resemblance to grain]
: 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 Noun a cheat at cards
Recent Examples on the Web
Rudolph plays Molly Wells, a woman who divorces her cheating tech-mogul husband and finds herself with eighty-seven billion dollars. Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, 12 July 2024 Portland schools made the lowest grade achievable by a student 50%, including for students who are caught cheating. Breccan F. Thies, Washington Examiner - Political News and Conservative Analysis About Congress, the President, and the Federal Government, 10 July 2024
Trump wants all 20 pillars on the platform's cheat seat to either electrify his base or entice the micro-groups of persuadable voters his campaign is focused on. Axios, 10 July 2024 Cohen: Trump is a 'cheat' Cohen, who served as a personal lawyer to Trump for a decade, outlined his allegations in blockbuster testimony to the House Oversight and Reform Committee in February 2019. Bart Jansen, USA TODAY, 22 Apr. 2024 See all Example Sentences for cheat 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cheat.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Noun and Verb

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

First Known Use


1590, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1615, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of cheat was in 1590

Dictionary Entries Near cheat

Cite this Entry

“Cheat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
: to deprive of something valuable by dishonest methods
cheated them out of their property
: to successfully avoid or oppose by or as if by cleverness
the daredevil had cheated death again
: to use unfair or dishonest methods to gain an advantage
cheat on a test
cheat at cards
cheater noun


2 of 2 noun
: an act of cheating
: a person who cheats

More from Merriam-Webster on cheat

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