deceive

verb
de·​ceive | \ di-ˈsēv How to pronounce deceive (audio) \
deceived; deceiving

Definition of deceive

transitive verb

1 : to cause to accept as true or valid what is false or invalid deceiving customers about the condition of the cars bluffing at poker in order to deceive the other players
2 archaic : ensnare … he it was whose guile … deceived the mother of mankind …— John Milton
3a obsolete : to be false to You have deceived our trust …— Shakespeare
b archaic : to fail to fulfill … nor are my hopes deceived.— John Dryden
4 archaic : to while away These occupations oftentimes deceived the listless hour …— William Wordsworth
5 obsolete : cheat deceived me of a good sum of money …— William Oldys

intransitive verb

: to make someone believe something that is not true : to practice deceit also : to give a false impression appearances can deceive

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from deceive

deceiver noun
deceivingly \ di-​ˈsē-​viŋ-​lē How to pronounce deceivingly (audio) \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for deceive

deceive, mislead, delude, beguile mean to lead astray or frustrate usually by underhandedness. deceive implies imposing a false idea or belief that causes ignorance, bewilderment, or helplessness. tried to deceive me about the cost mislead implies a leading astray that may or may not be intentional. I was misled by the confusing sign delude implies deceiving so thoroughly as to obscure the truth. we were deluded into thinking we were safe beguile stresses the use of charm and persuasion in deceiving. was beguiled by false promises

Examples of deceive in a Sentence

Her parents punished her for trying to deceive them. He was accused of deceiving the customer about the condition of the car. People who think they can eat whatever they want without harming their health are deceiving themselves. Remember that appearances can deceive—just because something looks good doesn't mean it is good.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Child abuse reports likely deceiving Reports of child abuse dropped by about 50% after Wisconsin schools closed due to the pandemic, according to the Department of Children and Families, but officials fear that number could be misleading. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "As Wisconsin collects data on coronavirus and its effects, some positive trends are emerging," 7 May 2020 The suit accuses Google of deliberately deceiving school districts and parents with regards to its data policies. Kate Cox, Ars Technica, "Google faces state lawsuit alleging misuse of schoolkids’ private data," 21 Feb. 2020 The Conservatives last month published a deceiving video aggressively edited to show a Labour Brexit spokesman unable to answer a question about the party's position on Britain's EU exit. Kim Hjelmgaard, USA TODAY, "Boris Johnson vs. Jeremy Corbyn: Britain gears up for 'nightmare before Christmas' vote," 11 Dec. 2019 Enraged Republicans accused the state of pilfering money intended for road repair and deceiving voters. Rachel Swan, SFChronicle.com, "Newsom declared the state should spend more on climate change. It ignited a firestorm," 18 Oct. 2019 Receiving a lay-off from Javier Hernandez, Powell bought some space on the edge of the box with a deceiving body feint, before firing in a powerful 25-yard shot into the bottom corner. SI.com, "Daniel James & the Fastest Scoring Debutants in Manchester United History," 14 Aug. 2019 There have been even larger fines against non-tech companies, including a $14.7 billion penalty against Volkswagen to settle allegations of cheating on emissions tests and deceiving customers. Barbara Ortutay, The Denver Post, "FTC fines Facebook $5B, adds oversight for privacy mishaps," 24 July 2019 There have been even larger fines against non-tech companies, including a $14.7 billion penalty against Volkswagen to settle allegations of cheating on emissions tests and deceiving customers. Author: Marcy Gordon And Barbara Ortutay, Anchorage Daily News, "FTC fines Facebook $5B, adds limited oversight on privacy," 24 July 2019 There have been even larger fines against nontech companies, including a $14.7 billion penalty against Volkswagen to settle allegations of cheating on emissions tests and deceiving customers. Marcy Gordon, chicagotribune.com, "Feds fine Facebook $5 billion for privacy violations, establish new oversight," 24 July 2019

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

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2

History and Etymology for deceive

Middle English, from Anglo-French deceivre, from Latin decipere, from de- + capere to take — more at heave entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about deceive

Time Traveler for deceive

Time Traveler

The first known use of deceive was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for deceive

Last Updated

22 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Deceive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/deceive. Accessed 29 May. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for deceive

deceive

verb
How to pronounce deceive (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of deceive

: to make (someone) believe something that is not true

deceive

verb
de·​ceive | \ di-ˈsēv How to pronounce deceive (audio) \
deceived; deceiving

Kids Definition of deceive

1 : to cause to believe what is not true : mislead His lies deceived me.
2 : to be dishonest and misleading Appearances can deceive.

deceive

verb
de·​ceive
deceived; deceiving

Legal Definition of deceive

transitive verb

: to cause to accept as true or valid what is false or invalid

intransitive verb

: to practice deceit — compare defraud, mislead

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on deceive

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for deceive

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with deceive

Spanish Central: Translation of deceive

Nglish: Translation of deceive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of deceive for Arabic Speakers

Comments on deceive

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

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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!