deep·​fake ˈdēp-ˌfāk How to pronounce deepfake (audio)
plural deepfakes
: an image or recording that has been convincingly altered and manipulated to misrepresent someone as doing or saying something that was not actually done or said
Two artists and an advertising company created a deepfake of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg saying things he never said, and uploaded it to Instagram.Samantha Cole
No law regulates deepfakes, though some legal and technical experts have recommended adapting current laws covering libel, defamation, identity fraud or impersonating a government official. But concerns of overregulation abound: The dividing line between a parody protected by the First Amendment and deepfake political propaganda may not always be clear-cut.Drew Harwell
With Mueller warning of future election meddling, [Representative Adam] Schiff said that one of his biggest concerns for future campaigns was the development of deepfake technology—the ability to manipulate videos or audio to change what a person appears to have said. 'How do we prepare against the late distribution of a fraudulent video?' Schiff said.Elias Groll and Amy Mackinnon

Did you know?

The old maxim "things aren’t always as they seem" seems more true than ever in the age of deepfakes. A deepfake is an image, or a video or audio recording, that has been edited using an algorithm to replace the person in the original with someone else (especially a public figure) in a way that makes it look authentic. The fake in deepfake is transparent: deepfakes are not real. The deep is less self-explanatory: this half of the term is specifically influenced by deep learning—that is, machine learning using artificial neural networks with multiple layers of algorithms.

Examples of deepfake in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Interestingly, when they were correctly flagged, deepfakes’ potential giveaways differed depending on which language participants spoke. Andrew Paul, Popular Science, 2 Aug. 2023 Cruise himself was portrayed in a series of deepfakes created by a visual and AI effects artist on TikTok earlier this year. Samantha Delouya, CNN, 18 July 2023 Amy Nofziger, who leads fraud victim support for AARP’s Fraud Watch Network, said scammers have learned to use deepfakes to make established scams more convincing. Kevin Collier, NBC News, 29 Aug. 2023 Candidates are already using deepfakes as propaganda. WIRED, 27 July 2023 Regardless of training, however, the researchers found that their participants on average correctly determined the deepfakes about 73 percent of the time. Andrew Paul, Popular Science, 2 Aug. 2023 If Neville could slip in a deepfake, what else could documentarians do that wasn’t truthful? Addie Morfoot, Variety, 1 Aug. 2023 Not a single writer or actor is involved in the production: the scripts are churned out by artificial intelligence, and the performances are elaborate deepfakes. Inkoo Kang, The New Yorker, 30 July 2023 The campaign backing Ron DeSantis as Republican presidential nominee in 2024 has used what experts identify as AI-generated deepfakes in attack ad against rival Donald Trump. James Vincent, The Verge, 8 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'deepfake.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

2018, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of deepfake was in 2018


Dictionary Entries Near deepfake

Cite this Entry

“Deepfake.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Sep. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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