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 But with disinformation the bad information is spread with the intent to deceive. Robert Mcmillan, WSJ, "Brands Face a New Online Threat: Disinformation Attacks," 8 Oct. 2020 The blot of Tottenham's day came with Lamela seeming to deceive the referee after being softly struck by Martial in retaliation for a light push on his face by the Argentine. Rob Harris, Star Tribune, "Tottenham humiliates Man United with 6-1 Premier League win," 4 Oct. 2020 These sound more like mistakes than deliberate attempts to deceive, but the lesson for the White House is to let Dr. Conley and his medical team do the talking on the President’s health. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "White House Medical Confusion," 4 Oct. 2020 After a six-day trial, the jury found Ojedokun guilty of conspiring with others to deceive and persuade older men and women on dating websites to hand over large sums of money. Washington Post, "Sanitizer, face shields and a plexiglass maze: What jury trials look like in a pandemic," 18 Sep. 2020 His lawyer publicly insisted that Clinesmith had not intended to deceive his FBI colleagues or the FISA court, but Clinesmith ultimately pled guilty. Nr Editors, National Review, "The Week," 20 Aug. 2020 There was no trying to deceive you or anything like that. Edward Lee, baltimoresun.com, "Amir Rizvi, who ran an accounting firm for more than 30 years and was active in Muslim advocacy, dies," 24 Aug. 2020 The Express-News, quoting postal union leaders, reported that mail handlers were directed to remove piles of mail in an effort to deceive the congressman. Brian Chasnoff, ExpressNews.com, "12 more coronavirus deaths in Bexar County," 20 Aug. 2020 Instagram influencers have also been charged with putting on a kind of digital blackface to possibly deceive their followers. Taylyn Washington-harmon, Health.com, "What Is Blackfishing and Why Would Anyone Do It?," 17 Aug. 2020

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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Time Traveler for deceive

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for deceive

Last Updated

19 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Deceive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/deceive. Accessed 25 Oct. 2020.

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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

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Comments on deceive

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