de·​ceit·​ful di-ˈsēt-fəl How to pronounce deceitful (audio)
: having a tendency or disposition to deceive or give false impressions:
: not honest
a deceitful person
: deceptive, misleading
deceitful advertising
deceitfully 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 If only Chow and Su could meet outside their deceitful partners and watchful neighbors! Kyle Chayka, The New Yorker, 1 Sep. 2023 They’re at times deceitful, manipulative and gleefully libidinous – in other words, all the things straight male characters have been allowed to be for years. Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY, 30 Aug. 2023 But deceitful hiring managers do notice the impact on employee retention. Paige McGlauflin, Fortune, 28 Aug. 2023 In many cases, any scientific connections are ambiguous at best or deceitful at worst; but sometimes between the two exist a host of oral and topical wellness products pushed by both manufacturers and users alike. Daryl Austin, USA TODAY, 27 Aug. 2023 The Federal Trade Commission sued Amazon on Wednesday for allegedly using deceitful tactics in a years-long effort to trick millions of customers into enrolling in its Prime subscription service, the agency said. Max Zahn, ABC News, 21 June 2023 On top of that deceitful and cringey moment, the next scene shows Sandoval and Ariana on a roller-skating date. Krystie Lee Yandoli, Rolling Stone, 15 June 2023 Trump has repeatedly attacked his accusers, in some cases calling them deceitful, mentally ill and unattractive. Joanna Slater, Washington Post, 29 Apr. 2023 However, audio deepfake technology could easily bolster the deceitful tactic. Kristina Libby, Popular Mechanics, 5 May 2022 See More

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

Word History


see deceit

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near deceitful

Cite this Entry

“Deceitful.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


de·​ceit·​ful di-ˈsēt-fəl How to pronounce deceitful (audio)
: practicing or tending to practice trickery
: showing or containing deceit or fraud : deceptive
a deceitful answer
deceitfully adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on deceitful

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