\ 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

Kylie and Woods have reportedly been strained since Kardashian’s ex, Tristan Thompson, allegedly cheated with Jordyn at a party back in February. Lydia Wang,, "Kylie Jenner Finally Speaks Out About Her Broken Friendship With Jordyn Woods," 15 July 2019 Kaur repeated her desire of wanting a divorce and admitted to cheating on Grewal, according to defense attorneys. Lauren Castle, azcentral, "Avtar Grewal guilty of killing wife in Ahwatukee in 2007, jury finds," 15 July 2019 Murphy's site is the go-to destination for running enthusiasts concerned about cheating. Dan Horn,, "Marathoner found dead after Cincinnati cheating website questioned his times," 5 July 2019 The first scene of the pilot found her with an unsatisfied client, a man who’d asked her to capture photographs of his spouse cheating on him with his brother. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, "The Marvel-Netflix Universe’s Final Hero," 14 June 2019 Lori Loughlin, who played Abigail Stanton on Hallmark's When Calls the Heart, was charged in a massive college admissions cheating scandal in March 2019. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "The Craziest 'When Calls the Heart' Theories About How the Show Will Handle Lori Loughlin's Exit," 4 May 2019 The move comes after her mom was indicted in a college admissions cheating scandal — Isabella has since deleted her account on the social media platform, The Daily Beast reports. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Lori Loughlin’s Daughter Isabella Giannulli Deleted Her Instagram Account Amid College Admissions Investigation," 18 Apr. 2019 Three years after the Environmental Protection Agency began investigating alleged diesel emission cheating in Mercedes-Benz cars, vehicle owners and environmentalists say the Trump administration appears to be allowing the inquiry to stall. Anna M. Phillips,, "As Europe orders a recall, EPA’s inquiry into Mercedes emissions drags on," 1 July 2019 Authorities restricted social media platforms like WhatsApp and Telegram and disabled SMS text messaging in measures aimed at deterring cheating during national secondary school exams. Abdi Latif Dahir, Quartz Africa, "The numbing experience of living through Africa’s growing internet shutdowns," 24 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Goglia has passed on a few realistic dieting tips to Khloé that have helped her stay on track—like limiting her to cheat meals instead of cheat days., "Kardashian Family Nutritionist Philip Goglia Shares One of Khloe’s ‘Favorite’ Dinner Recipes," 6 June 2019 Executive Chef Theyen Hoang was inspired by Whole 30 recipes and cheat days for the pizzas to come up with the menus for Wholesome Kitchen and Wholesome Pies. Kaila Contreras, Houston Chronicle, "Wholesome Restaurant Group debuts fine dining, pizza joint in Generation Park," 16 June 2019 Merrill has admitted to defrauding investors as far away as Singapore in the five-year, $394 million cheat. Tim Prudente,, "Texas businessman and partner of Towson millionaire pleads guilty in lucrative Ponzi scheme," 6 June 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

19 Jul 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).


an act or instance of editing or removing

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