de·​cep·​tion | \ di-ˈsep-shən How to pronounce deception (audio) \

Definition of deception

1a : the act of causing someone to accept as true or valid what is false or invalid : the act of deceiving resorting to falsehood and deception used deception to leak the classified information
b : the fact or condition of being deceived the deception of his audience
2 : something that deceives : trick fooled by a scam artist's clever deception

Other Words from deception

deceptional \ di-​ˈsep-​shə-​nəl How to pronounce deception (audio) \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for deception

deception, fraud, double-dealing, subterfuge, trickery mean the acts or practices of one who deliberately deceives. deception may or may not imply blameworthiness, since it may suggest cheating or merely tactical resource. magicians are masters of deception fraud always implies guilt and often criminality in act or practice. indicted for fraud double-dealing suggests treachery or at least action contrary to a professed attitude. a go-between suspected of double-dealing subterfuge suggests the adoption of a stratagem or the telling of a lie in order to escape guilt or to gain an end. obtained the papers by subterfuge trickery implies ingenious acts intended to dupe or cheat. resorted to trickery to gain their ends

Examples of deception in a Sentence

She accuses the company of willful deception in its advertising. His many deceptions did not become known until years after he died.
Recent Examples on the Web Here, the deception hinges on a corpse, with thousands of lives hanging in the balance. Brian Lowry, CNN, 11 May 2022 Online deception is of course nothing new in politics — witness the U.S. election of 2016. Los Angeles Times, 5 May 2022 The suspect was cited for deception to obtain dangerous drugs. John Benson, cleveland, 27 Apr. 2022 Angry at his son's deception, Marquez shoots at Antonio, but Aram saves him. Laura Sirikul,, 23 Apr. 2022 The Huskies will be showing their new offense, which will focus on a small number of plays with deception around them. Dom Amore, Hartford Courant, 20 Apr. 2022 But given the ease with which the Germans could anticipate that move, a strategic military deception was necessary. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 16 Apr. 2022 But as societies become less naïve and more alert to these and other threats, parasitic individuals and free riders need to rely on sophisticated deception skills to fool others. Tomas Chamorro-premuzic, Forbes, 14 Apr. 2022 The tangled web of alleged deception has shed light on the fraught relationship between the city and Recology. Annie Vainshtein, San Francisco Chronicle, 7 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'deception.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of deception

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for deception

Middle English decepcioun, from Anglo-French deception, from Late Latin deception-, deceptio, from Latin decipere to deceive

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Time Traveler for deception

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The first known use of deception was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

14 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Deception.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for deception


de·​cep·​tion | \ di-ˈsep-shən How to pronounce deception (audio) \

Kids Definition of deception

1 : the act of making someone believe something that is not true Magicians are masters of deception.
2 : trick entry 1 sense 1 His clever deception fooled me.


de·​cep·​tion | \ di-ˈsep-shən How to pronounce deception (audio) \

Legal Definition of deception

1 : an act of deceiving
2 : something that deceives : deceit

More from Merriam-Webster on deception

Nglish: Translation of deception for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of deception for Arabic Speakers


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