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

Besides the grandchild scam, there are romance or online dating schemes in which victims are deceived into online relationships before being swindled out of their savings. Yuka Hayashi, WSJ, "Scamming Grandma: Financial Abuse of Seniors Hits Record," 24 Jan. 2019 In September 2016, Bridgepoint settled with the CFPB for $23.5 million for allegedly deceiving students. NBC News, "DeVos agenda on higher education is a new front for Democratic resistance," 3 July 2018 The ruling -- and a separate decision in another case in Connecticut -- calls into question the government’s decision to pursue criminal charges against traders who deceive clients about prices during bond negotiations. Chris Dolmetsch, Bloomberg.com, "Litvak's Conviction Reversed Again by Federal Appeals Court," 3 May 2018 Investors who claim they were deceived when Snapchat’s parent company went public last year will get a chance to pursue damages in court. Bloomberg, latimes.com, "Snap shareholders can pursue claims that IPO hid crucial facts, judge rules," 8 June 2018 Over the fall and winter, U.S. troops felt misled by their government, deceived by their officers, abused by their allies and outgunned by their enemy, fighting in a war that was already over. Michael M. Phillips, WSJ, "The One Time American Troops Fought Russians Was at the End of World War I—and They Lost," 9 Nov. 2018 The Victorians put a high value on natural beauty, and using cosmetics to deceive male purchasers was akin to false advertising today. Joan Kron, Town & Country, "The President's Facelift Tweet Wasn't Just Nasty—It Was Also Factually Inaccurate," 30 June 2017 But once again, appearances prove deceiving: Billy is not just a science whiz but also a tapping tornado, both in the script and as embodied by a marvelous Capstick. Mike Fischer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Skylight's 'Zombies' a soaring sendup of sexless '50s," 3 Feb. 2018 Over the weekend, questions bubbled up over whether Weinstein's attorney had a conflict of interest: A lawyer from his firm, Alex Spiro, allegedly tried to deceive a victim into giving the firm video and audio statements. NBC News, "Harvey Weinstein pleads not guilty to rape charges," 5 June 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 2

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

23 May 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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