de·​ceit | \ di-ˈsēt How to pronounce deceit (audio) \

Definition of deceit

1 : 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
2 : an attempt or device to deceive : trick Her excuse turned out to be a deceit.
3 : the quality of being dishonest or misleading : the quality of being deceitful : deceitfulness … far from deceit or guile.— John Milton

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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 Vance originally launched his investigation back in August 2018, after Cohen’s guilty plea and public testimony revealed the Trump Organization’s deceits. Peter Elkind, ProPublica, "Prosecutors Investigating the Trump Organization Zero In on Trump CFO Allen Weisselberg," 21 Nov. 2019 But for cheats and liars, for bullies and tyrants, for those who seek to use my words to propagate deceit and injustice? Madeleine Kearns, National Review, "Rachel McKinnon Is a Cheat and a Bully," 29 Oct. 2019 Hopefully the payout will discourage other purveyors of deceit. Krista Kafer, The Denver Post, "Kafer: The internet has changed our lives for the better too," 25 Oct. 2019 These include poverty, rape, environmental degradation, military shortcomings, war games, societal rifts, viruses and other health scares, political blunders, poor governance, and, ironically, the uncovering of deceit. The Economist, "Lithuanians are using software to fight back against fake news," 24 Oct. 2019 Servier is being tried on charges of manslaughter, unintentional harm, fraud and deceit about the chemical makeup of Mediator and the risks of taking it. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Diabetes drug victims demand justice in French trial," 23 Sep. 2019 The Cavalier is open daily at 360 Jessie St., San Francisco; 5 ‘Die Fledermaus’ opera + Naschmarkt, San Jose Care for some little flirtation, light-hearted deceit and elaborate revenge — with Viennese schnitzel on the side? Joan Morris, The Mercury News, "10 awesome Bay Area date night ideas for fall," 9 Sep. 2019 Having failed at maximum pressure, @SecPompeo's turning to maximum deceit. Petra Cahill, NBC News, "Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh under fire again, GM workers' strike, and oil prices soar: The Morning Rundown," 16 Sep. 2019 Openings All My Sons A family is torn apart by greed and deceit in Arthur Miller’s classic drama. Los Angeles Times, "Theater in L.A. this week: Bill Irwin’s ‘On Beckett,’ Ethan Coen’s ‘A Play Is a Poem’ and more," 15 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'deceit.' 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 deceit

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for deceit

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

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Learn More about deceit

Time Traveler for deceit

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for deceit

Last Updated

2 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Deceit.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 10 December 2019.

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More Definitions for deceit


How to pronounce deceit (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of deceit

: dishonest behavior : behavior that is meant to fool or trick someone


de·​ceit | \ di-ˈsēt How to pronounce deceit (audio) \

Kids Definition of deceit

1 : the act or practice of making someone believe something that is not true : deception The villain used deceit to further his evil plan.
2 : a statement or act that is meant to fool or trick someone We saw through her deceit.
3 : the quality of being dishonest



Legal Definition of deceit

: 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on deceit

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for deceit

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with deceit

Spanish Central: Translation of deceit

Nglish: Translation of deceit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of deceit for Arabic Speakers

Comments on deceit

What made you want to look up deceit? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to state or do over again or repeatedly

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