\ 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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The worst kids in the world who lie, steal, and cheat and have bullied their way into the church's Christmas pageant. Gege Reed, The Courier-Journal, 23 Nov. 2021 The birds will have extra-pair copulations—that is, cheat—but their modus operandi is monogamy. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 23 Nov. 2021 But defense attorneys said prosecutors lacked evidence that the men had taken part in a conspiracy to cheat the rules. Dylan Lovan, ajc, 17 Nov. 2021 Heinel is one of two USC athletic directors alleged to have been involved in a racketeering conspiracy to cheat prospective students' admission into the university. Aya Elamroussi And Liam Reilly, CNN, 6 Nov. 2021 Hackers for years have targeted gamers to cheat and take over accounts, increasingly training their sights on developers to steal potentially valuable information about forthcoming releases. David Uberti, WSJ, 6 Oct. 2021 Don’t cheat and don’t count on your 17-year-old son to just carry that forever for you. Ali Barthwell, Vulture, 10 Nov. 2021 When the pandemic forced players online, teammates could cheat effortlessly: talking side-by-side on the sofa, chatting by phone, or using spectator accounts to see everyone’s cards. Alan Yuhas, New York Times, 26 Oct. 2021 Did the Giants cheat with a center-field spy perched in the scoreboard on the infamous Bobby Thomson home run? Los Angeles Times, 16 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In Ryan’s room, the inquisitive duo came across what looked like notes Ryan had prepared as a cheat-sheet for how to get more camera time. oregonlive, 26 Oct. 2021 All these men know is cheat, fight, drop album, and lie. Zoe Haylock, Vulture, 3 Sep. 2021 The Houston Astros are the most famous cheat-to-win perps in sports history., 15 Oct. 2021 Sometimes, new installments in the genre seem to position themselves as a cheat code to a better life: Fill out the test at the back of the book; try these exercises; narrativize your life. Eleanor Cummins, The Atlantic, 18 Oct. 2021 Tara Bishop from the National Forest Service, holds some cheat grass at the site of the dry canyon fire in Lindon, on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021. Luke Peterson, The Salt Lake Tribune, 15 Oct. 2021 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

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

2 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cheat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 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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