deceit

noun
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

Keep scrolling for more

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 He was charged with using fraud or deceit to falsely imprison the woman in June 2019. CBS News, "Former TSA agent sentenced to jail for tricking woman into showing breasts at L.A. airport," 25 Jan. 2021 Lomeli was charged with using fraud or deceit to falsely imprison the woman in June 2019. NBC News, "Former TSA agent convicted for tricking woman into showing breasts at LAX," 24 Jan. 2021 In the initial days after The Whack, Joe Louis Arena was the epicenter for what at first appeared to be an attack by a skating fanatic but what really turned out to be a surreal, almost comic, story of jealousy, vengeance and deceit. Gene Myers, Detroit Free Press, "How Benny Napoleon helped crack 'The Whack Heard 'Round the World' of Nancy Kerrigan," 18 Dec. 2020 Eisenhower’s deceit was an epiphany: the chill wind of realpolitik foretold the end of what we’d been taught since first grade. James Carroll, The New Yorker, "What the Era of Trump and the Coronavirus May Teach America’s Children," 21 Dec. 2020 The last, published in 2019, brought his stories of duplicity and deceit into the era of Brexit and Donald Trump. Fox News, "John le Carre, who probed murky world of spies, dies at 89," 14 Dec. 2020 The last, published in 2019, brought his stories of duplicity and deceit into the era of Brexit and Donald Trump. Author: Jill Lawless, Anchorage Daily News, "John le Carre, who probed murky world of spies, dies at 89," 14 Dec. 2020 The victim happens to be the son of the ruthless crime lord ( Michael Stuhlbarg) and the effort to cover up the incident leads to a high-stakes game of lies, deceit and unfortunate choices. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "‘A Holly Dolly Christmas’ and ‘Your Honor’ top this week’s tv picks," 6 Dec. 2020 When his teenage son, Adam (Hunter Doohan), is involved in a hit-and-run, the moral dilemmas rack up as a whirlwind of deceit and impossible choices come Michael’s way. Katey Clifford, al, "Bryan Cranston stars in ‘Your Honor’ | How to watch, live stream, TV channel, time," 6 Dec. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about deceit

Time Traveler for deceit

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for deceit

Last Updated

7 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Deceit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/deceit. Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for deceit

deceit

noun

English Language Learners Definition of deceit

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

deceit

noun
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

deceit

noun
de·​ceit

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!