deceive

verb
de·ceive | \di-ˈsēv \
deceived; deceiving

Definition of deceive 

transitive verb

1 archaic : ensnare … he it was whose guile … deceived the mother of mankind …— John Milton

2a obsolete : to be false to You have deceived our trust …— Shakespeare

b archaic : to fail to fulfill … nor are my hopes deceived.— John Dryden

3 obsolete : cheat deceived me of a good sum of money …— William Oldys

4 : 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

5 archaic : to while away These occupations oftentimes deceived the listless hour …— William Wordsworth

intransitive verb

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

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Other Words from deceive

deceiver noun
deceivingly \-ˈsē-viŋ-lē \ 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Fiat Chrysler Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne has been adamant that the company wasn't trying to deceive regulators or circumvent clean-air rules. Kartikay Mehrotra, latimes.com, "Ford rigged diesel trucks to beat emissions tests, lawsuit alleges," 10 Jan. 2018 Do not be deceived: Rahm will win multiple major titles. Ron Kroichick, San Francisco Chronicle, "Masters champ Patrick Reed leads new wave of golf characters," 11 Apr. 2018 During a years-long investigation, according to court documents obtained by the Free Press, the FBI sought to show that Rathburn had deceived numerous families by dismembering loved ones' bodies without their knowledge or permission. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, "Grieving relative blasts convicted cadaver dealer: 'I hope you burn in hell'," 21 May 2018 To be fair, Instagram didn't set out to deceive users: The app was transparent about how polls worked from the start. Madeline Buxton, refinery29.com, "Instagram Stories' New Questions Sticker Should Come With A Warning Label," 10 July 2018 The company used an elaborate system of shell companies to deceive the U.S., and the deception came to light only after internal documents leaked. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Trump Lets ZTE Off the Hook," 14 May 2018 The wire fraud relates to August 2015 e-mails that Winterkorn was copied on regarding VW’s attempts to deceive US regulators through Oliver Schmidt, VW’s compliance liaison, prosecutors said. Tom Schoenberg, BostonGlobe.com, "Ex-VW CEO Winterkorn charged by US in diesel-cheating case," 3 May 2018 The wire fraud relates to August 2015 emails that Winterkorn was copied on regarding VW's attempts to deceive U.S. regulators through Oliver Schmidt, VW's compliance liaison, according to prosecutors. Tom Schoenberg, chicagotribune.com, "U.S. charges ex-VW CEO Winterkorn with fraud in diesel-cheating case," 4 May 2018 Libby was not charged with the leak itself and has long argued that his conviction rested on an innocent difference in memories between him and several witnesses, not an intent to deceive investigators. BostonGlobe.com, "Trump plans to pardon Scooter Libby," 13 Apr. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of deceive

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for deceive

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

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Statistics for deceive

Last Updated

10 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for deceive

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

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More Definitions for deceive

deceive

verb

English Language Learners Definition of deceive

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

deceive

verb
de·ceive | \di-ˈsēv \
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

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Comments on deceive

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