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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

There is something objectively problematic and harmful to our users when malicious actors attempt to deceive them. Bill Lambrecht, ExpressNews.com, "Advocates push Census Bureau to prepare for security breaches, disinformation ahead of 2020 count," 30 Aug. 2019 Meanwhile, older Americans are encountering sales pitches that leave them feeling deceived. Kaiser Health News, oregonlive.com, "Watch out for this Medicare scam involving DNA genetic tests," 3 Aug. 2019 Now, Aloia is one of 33 plaintiffs who are suing the Biological Resource Center for deceiving them about the fate of bodies of their deceased family members. Mahita Gajanan, Time, "Dismembered Limbs, Head Sewn Onto the Wrong Body Allegedly Found in Raid on Arizona Body-Donation Company," 26 July 2019 Washington had alleged that Comcast misled 500,000 Washington consumers and deceived them into paying at least $73 million in subscription fees over a five-year period. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Comcast broke law 445,000 times in scheme to inflate bills, judge finds," 7 June 2019 Goldsmith came away convinced that the entire Macedonian operation was about deceiving and manipulating American veterans ahead of the 2020 election. Craig Timberg, Washington Post, "A popular Facebook page, ‘Vets for Trump,’ seemed to be a place for former military. But for months, Macedonians controlled it.," 17 Sep. 2019 Mental decline makes it that much easier to deceive someone or manipulate them into doing something that is against their best interests. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Ask Veronica — Elder abuse needs to be part of the conversation on aging," 16 Sep. 2019 Nebraska’s defense scored two TDs, and the 35-21 score was deceiving. Joseph Goodman, al, "Muschamp not ready for Tua; Jalen goes to Hollywood," 12 Sep. 2019 Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, claimed that his government had been deceived by the United States and subsequently vetoed many U.N. resolutions related to the Syrian civil war. Dexter Filkins, The New Yorker, "The Moral Logic of Humanitarian Intervention," 9 Sep. 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.

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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

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Statistics for deceive

Last Updated

10 Oct 2019

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 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on deceive

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with deceive

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for deceive

Spanish Central: Translation of deceive

Nglish: Translation of deceive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of deceive for Arabic Speakers

Comments on deceive

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