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 deceitful (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 one scene, she’s being pummeled by a deceitful and financially abusive lover. Keyaira Boone, Essence, "Opinion: We Lost Who Billie Holiday Might Have Been If She Wasn’t Busy Fighting Racism," 26 Feb. 2021 After seeing the damage that their deceitful alliance with Trump has caused, Fitzgerald, Tiffany, Johnson and the rest of the plotters should resign their offices immediately. Editorial Board, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Editorial: Ron Johnson, Scott Fitzgerald and Tom Tiffany should resign or be expelled for siding with Trump against our republic," 7 Jan. 2021 What is rare, however, is the extent to which the presidency has been diminished by the deceitful behavior of the person now holding the office. Robert Moilanen, Star Tribune, "A mission for a new administration: Tell the truth, obey the law," 27 Dec. 2020 Boeing’s leadership was forced out and internal emails and interviews showed a fraught and deceitful relationship between Boeing and regulators. Dallas News, "Boeing’s 737 Max cleared to return 20 months after it was pulled from the skies," 18 Nov. 2020 But the city audit of VIA, conducted by Chief Financial Officer Ben Gorzell, was used to carry the implication that VIA reps were being deceitful about their financial challenges. Gilbert Garcia,, "Garcia: VIA’s difficult path to an easy election win," 7 Nov. 2020 His behavior hasn't just been deceitful; it's been disrespectful. Annie Lane, oregonlive, "Dear Annie: Woman in for a lifetime of hurt if she stays with cheating man," 4 Sep. 2020 My mom was deceitful and my father was ignorant and self-centered. Washington Post, "Carolyn Hax: He wants to meet Mom’s boyfriend, but Dad tries to stand in the way," 4 Sep. 2020 However, audio deepfake technology could easily bolster the deceitful tactic. Kristina Libby, Popular Mechanics, "Deepfakes Keep Getting Better. Here's How To Spot Them.," 13 Aug. 2020

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

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

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Statistics for deceitful

Last Updated

4 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Deceitful.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for deceitful



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

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