de·​fraud | \ di-ˈfrȯd How to pronounce defraud (audio) , dē-\
defrauded; defrauding; defrauds

Definition of defraud

transitive verb

: to deprive of something by deception or fraud trying to defraud the public Investors in the scheme were defrauded of their life savings.

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Other Words from defraud

defrauder \ di-​ˈfrȯ-​dər How to pronounce defrauder (audio) , dē-​ \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for defraud

cheat, cozen, defraud, swindle mean to get something by dishonesty or deception. cheat suggests using trickery that escapes observation. cheated me out of a dollar cozen implies artful persuading or flattering to attain a thing or a purpose. always able to cozen her grandfather out of a few dollars defraud stresses depriving one of his or her rights and usually connotes deliberate perversion of the truth. defrauded of her inheritance by an unscrupulous lawyer swindle implies large-scale cheating by misrepresentation or abuse of confidence. swindled of their savings by con artists

Examples of defraud in a Sentence

They were accused of trying to defraud the public. They conspired to defraud the government. She was convicted of writing bad checks with intent to defraud.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The film is based on the memoir of a stockbroker who defrauded investors out of millions of dollars in the 1980s. Shashank Bengali,, "The global financial scandal that has spread from Malaysia to Hollywood," 10 July 2019 If approved, calls and texts that use spoofing to imitate a different phone number would be unlawful and would allow the FCC to bring enforcement actions against bad actors outside of the country who are looking to defraud or scam people in the US. Makena Kelly, The Verge, "Ajit Pai has a new proposal to go after international robocallers," 8 July 2019 Another scheme involved defrauding Auto Now Acceptance Co. in Portsmouth, Ohio out of $850,000, prosecutors said. Kevin Grasha,, "Feds: $4.6 million fraud reached 4 states," 8 July 2019 In 2016, a Jefferson Circuit Court jury determined that the Eiflers had defrauded Greenamyer and breached a contract, awarding him $13.4 million, including $7 million in punitive damages. Andrew Wolfson, The Courier-Journal, "$13.4 million verdict reversed in business dispute between former St. X friends," 3 July 2019 The chief financial officer for a Dallas used car dealership on Tuesday admitted defrauding a Ford lending service and several banks, officials said. Sarah Sarder, Dallas News, "Exec at Dallas used car dealer admits role in $50 million scam targeting Ford, banks," 18 June 2019 The Trump administration dissolved the office charged with policing meat companies for cheating and defrauding farmers. Isaac Arnsdorf, ProPublica, "Chicken Farmers Thought Trump Was Going to Help Them. Then His Administration Did the Opposite.," 5 June 2019 The cost of the two failed NASA launches alone was approximately $700 million, and other defrauded clients included the Department of Defense and hundreds of commercial clients. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "NASA Says Two of Its Rockets Failed Because of Metals Fraud," 1 May 2019 Between January and August 2017, the ring sought to defraud several banks, individuals and government agencies, including the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office and the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office, the DA's office said. Robert Rhoden,, "16 indicted in North Shore bogus check cashing ring called 'BME Mafia'," 27 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'defraud.' 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 defraud

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for defraud

Middle English, from Anglo-French defrauder, from Latin defraudare, from de- + fraudare to cheat, from fraud-, fraus fraud

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Statistics for defraud

Last Updated

21 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for defraud

The first known use of defraud was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for defraud



English Language Learners Definition of defraud

: to trick or cheat someone or something in order to get money : to use fraud in order to get money from a person, an organization, etc.


de·​fraud | \ di-ˈfrȯd How to pronounce defraud (audio) \
defrauded; defrauding

Kids Definition of defraud

: to trick or cheat someone in order to get money They were accused of defrauding customers.


transitive verb
de·​fraud | \ di-ˈfrȯd How to pronounce defraud (audio) \

Legal Definition of defraud

: to deprive of something by fraud

Other Words from defraud

defrauder noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on defraud

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with defraud

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for defraud

Spanish Central: Translation of defraud

Nglish: Translation of defraud for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of defraud for Arabic Speakers

Comments on defraud

What made you want to look up defraud? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something desired as essential

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