de·​ceit·​ful | \ di-ˈsēt-fəl How to pronounce deceitful (audio) \

Definition of deceitful

: having a tendency or disposition to deceive or give false impressions:
a : not honest a deceitful child left her deceitful husband
b : deceptive, misleading deceitful advertising

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Other Words from deceitful

deceitfully \ di-​ˈsēt-​fə-​lē How to pronounce deceitfully (audio) \ adverb
deceitfulness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for deceitful

dishonest, deceitful, mendacious, untruthful mean unworthy of trust or belief. dishonest implies a willful perversion of truth in order to deceive, cheat, or defraud. a swindle usually involves two dishonest people deceitful usually implies an intent to mislead and commonly suggests a false appearance or double-dealing. the secret affairs of a deceitful spouse mendacious may suggest bland or even harmlessly mischievous deceit and when used of people often suggests a habit of telling untruths. mendacious tales of adventure untruthful stresses a discrepancy between what is said and fact or reality. an untruthful account of their actions

Examples of deceitful in a Sentence

charged the store owner with such deceitful practices as inflating the list prices for items only so he could put them on sale at drastically reduced prices the deceitful salesman neglected to mention some important information about the used car
Recent Examples on the Web In recent years, a peculiar element has emerged, particularly among Malayalis living outside Kerala: Onam day songs and dance in praise of Mahabali’s crooked, deceitful vanquisher. Harish Pullanoor, Quartz India, "We, the permanent villains of Indian mythology, must reclaim our fallen icons," 30 Dec. 2019 These deceitful allegations were launched by ICE at Colorado leaders and governmental entities following two recent Colorado cases. Doug Friednash, The Denver Post, "Friednash: ICE officials are weaving a false web about Colorado’s “sanctuary state”," 5 Dec. 2019 One man trusts, the other’s deceitful; both seem superficial. Armond White, National Review, "The Irishman’s Déjà Vu Gangsterism," 1 Nov. 2019 Highlighting only Kitchens’ blunders when calling identical plays and hiding his successes is deceitful and bush league. Ellis L. Williams, cleveland, "Repeating play calls hasn’t been working very well for the Browns’ Freddie Kitchens -- Film Review," 17 Oct. 2019 But the more damaging attack is less about health care and more on the idea that Harris has been deceitful. Jonathan Allen, NBC News, "Biden questions Harris' honesty," 1 Aug. 2019 For these four trustees to state that the OCR process was complete and there is nothing left to be done is deceitful, and pointedly ignores the requests and input from survivors, as well as best practices. David Jesse, Detroit Free Press, "Nassar survivors: MSU president must act after 'complete betrayal' from board members," 9 Sep. 2019 Why this particular piece of property is so frequently visited by these mangy, disheveled, deceitful and smirking creatures remains a mystery. Joe Soucheray, Twin Cities, "Soucheray: Don’t let the plump 3-year-old loose in the back yard unless the dog is at hand," 27 July 2019 For centuries, authors have described this sound as deceitful or mischievous. Christine Dell'amore, National Geographic, "Hyenas have a bad rap—but they’re Africa’s most successful predator," 14 June 2019

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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for deceitful

see deceit

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Time Traveler for deceitful

Time Traveler

The first known use of deceitful was in the 15th century

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Statistics for deceitful

Last Updated

15 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Deceitful.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 20 January 2020.

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More Definitions for deceitful


How to pronounce deceitful (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of deceitful

: not honest : making or trying to make someone believe something that is not true


de·​ceit·​ful | \ di-ˈsēt-fəl How to pronounce deceitful (audio) \

Kids Definition of deceitful

: not honest : full of deceit deceitful advertising

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Comments on deceitful

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


not to be intimidated or subdued

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