de·​ceit di-ˈsēt How to pronounce deceit (audio)
: the act of causing someone to accept as true or valid what is false or invalid : the act or practice of deceiving : deception
achieving one's goals through a web of deceit
: an attempt or device to deceive : trick
Her excuse turned out to be a deceit.
: the quality of being dishonest or misleading : the quality of being deceitful : deceitfulness
… far from deceit or guile.John Milton

Examples of deceit in a Sentence

a rise to power that was marked by treachery and deceit she's completely free of deceit
Recent Examples on the Web Schrader adds a characteristically pungent stab of deceit (with shades of his 2002 feature, Auto Focus) via Malcolm’s unethical actions once Emma gets her way and halts the interview. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 17 May 2024 Yet this moment is just one development in a half-season full of drama, deceit and Debling. William Earl, Variety, 17 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for deceit 

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

Word History


Middle English deceite, from Anglo-French, from Latin decepta, feminine of deceptus, past participle of decipere — see deceive

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of deceit was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near deceit

Cite this Entry

“Deceit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


de·​ceit di-ˈsēt How to pronounce deceit (audio)
: the act or practice of deceiving : deception
: an attempt or scheme to deceive : trick
: the quality of being deceitful

Legal Definition


: deliberate and misleading concealment, false declaration, or artifice : deception
theft by deceit
also : the tort of committing or carrying out deceit
an action for deceit
see also fraud, misrepresentation

More from Merriam-Webster on deceit

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