de·​cep·​tive | \ di-ˈsep-tiv How to pronounce deceptive (audio) \

Definition of deceptive

: tending or having power to cause someone to accept as true or valid what is false or invalid : tending or having power to deceive a deceptive appearance a pitcher with a deceptive windup

Other Words from deceptive

deceptively adverb
deceptiveness noun

Examples of deceptive in a Sentence

in his deceptive answer about the vehicle's history, the salesman said that the used car had never been hit by another car a mail-order firm indicted for deceptive business practices
Recent Examples on the Web The hillsides of Champagne, dedicated to vineyards, are deceptive. Peter Mikelbank,, 27 June 2022 Daily totals can be deceptive, as they are listed by the day the local health department received notification of positive test results rather than the day that each person testing positive began experiencing symptoms. Paul Sisson, San Diego Union-Tribune, 23 June 2022 The town’s quiet demeanor is deceptive; the island’s history is a page turner. Washington Post, 6 May 2022 The best example of this deceptive simplicity is the star of the dessert menu—the kouign-amann ice cream. Anna Mazurek, Chron, 22 July 2022 Those helped answer the key question (that was missing or deceptive in Mark Hofmann’s murderous forgery case): provenance or a record of ownership. The Salt Lake Tribune, 21 July 2022 Instead of static, possibly deceptive profile pictures, La Vette relies on 100% video profiles, which are harder to manipulate, Lux says, and a better measure of a person’s overall vibe. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, 18 July 2022 Make sure your advertising is truthful, non-deceptive and clearly identifiable as advertising. Eric Reicin, Forbes, 15 July 2022 The ubiquitous restaurant offering, while deceptive simple, marries a host of Chinese regional flavors with American ingredients. Claire Wang, NBC News, 15 July 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of deceptive

circa 1611, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for deceptive

see deception

Learn More About deceptive

Time Traveler for deceptive

Time Traveler

The first known use of deceptive was circa 1611

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Dictionary Entries Near deceptive



deceptive cadence

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Statistics for deceptive

Last Updated

7 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Deceptive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for deceptive


de·​cep·​tive | \ di-ˈsep-tiv How to pronounce deceptive (audio) \

Kids Definition of deceptive

: tending or able to deceive deceptive advertisements

Other Words from deceptive

deceptively adverb


de·​cep·​tive | \ di-ˈsep-tiv How to pronounce deceptive (audio) \

Legal Definition of deceptive

: tending or having capacity to deceive deceptive trade practices — compare fraudulent, misleading

More from Merriam-Webster on deceptive

Nglish: Translation of deceptive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of deceptive for Arabic Speakers


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