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

In 2011, the agency issued a consent decree that prohibits the company from deceiving users on their privacy. Colin Lecher, The Verge, "Facebook fends off new anti-monopoly questions after UK email release," 5 Dec. 2018 In its lawsuit against the men, the S.E.C. argued that Mr. Sharma and Mr. Farkas deceived investors. New York Times, "Despite Caution Over Cryptocurrency, Investors Are Bullish," 27 June 2018 The 7-4 score is deceiving because several of the fights were split decisions that could’ve gone either way, Kylis said. Carl Prine, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Marine boxer bludgeons his way to Best Boxer title in London bouts," 28 May 2018 The order alleges the company deceived the public in an effort to tout its legitimacy by using a photo of Ginsburg and former solicitors generals Theodore Olson, Paul Clement and Seth Waxman. L.m. Sixel, Houston Chronicle, "Ask yourself: Is Prince Charles really touting crypocurrency?," 16 May 2018 An initial hearing on reopening the Alpha bankruptcy, an extraordinary measure reserved for instances of fraud intended to deceive the court, is set for Jan. 9. Tom Corrigan, WSJ, "Justice Department Chides McKinsey in Another Bankruptcy Case," 15 Dec. 2018 And if Facebook pulled down the Russians’ fake pages, regular Facebook users might also react with outrage at having been deceived: His own mother-in-law, Mr. Kaplan said, had followed a Facebook page created by Russian trolls. Kurt Wagner, Recode, "Who does Facebook fire after a bombshell New York Times investigation?," 15 Nov. 2018 Yet Republicans, starting again with the president, have systematically deceived the public. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "The 2018 campaign revealed the true fissure in American democracy," 6 Nov. 2018 Prosecutor Scott Hixon said Taylor intentionally deceived everyone in her life and intended to kill her baby. Crimesider Staff, CBS News, "South Carolina woman convicted of leaving baby in trash bin," 9 Feb. 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

17 Jan 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 \
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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