de·​ceit·​ful | \-fəl \

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 \-​fə-​lē \ 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

Based on the hit podcast from Wondery and the Los Angeles Times, Dirty John—the story of a deceitful man and the woman who fell for him—is one of the most anticipated series of the fall. Amanda Mitchell, Marie Claire, "Dirty John: Everything You Need to Know About the New Bravo Show," 25 Oct. 2018 People who are glued to screens to the exclusion of other people are regarded with disdain: narcissistic, withholding, deceitful, sneaky. Susan Crawford, WIRED, "What Are Screens Doing to Our Eyes—And Our Ability to See?," 27 Mar. 2018 Ultimately she was fired from the show but never lost her cunning, conniving and treacherously deceitful ways. Stephen A. Crockett Jr., The Root, "Omarosa to Join Celebrity Big Brother Because What Else Was She Going to Do?," 29 Jan. 2018 In his opening statement, Mr. Williams portrayed Mr. Silver, a powerful Democrat who for decades represented lower Manhattan, as greedy and deceitful. Corinne Ramey, WSJ, "Corruption Retrial Begins for Former New York Assembly Speaker," 30 Apr. 2018 Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin and three of her deputies are the subject of a scathing court order, issued today by a judge who called their actions deceitful and criminal. Ashley Remkus,, "Morgan sheriff and deputies acted criminally in probe of blogger and warden, judge says," 27 Apr. 2018 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Sean Rossman, USA TODAY, "Barbara Bush's granddaughters gave emotional, moving readings during funeral service," 21 Apr. 2018 There, Eze befriends his cousin, Pius (Chinaza Uche), a professional scammer who sends phishing emails, among other deceitful business pursuits. Gabe Cohn, New York Times, "He Won $1 Million to Make a Movie. Then the Problems Set in.," 19 Apr. 2018 There, a smarmy or even deceitful aggression designated an enterprising go-getter. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, "All Followers Are Fake Followers," 30 Jan. 2018

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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Statistics for deceitful

Last Updated

3 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for deceitful

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

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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 \

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).


a nest or breeding place

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