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

In the early two-thousands, after Chiluba was elected out of office, the Zambian government accused Katumbi of having conspired with the former President to defraud the country of millions of dollars. Nicolas Niarchos, The New Yorker, "A Top Leader of the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Political Opposition Returns," 12 Sep. 2019 Federal prosecutors charged the Bay Area’s largest home healthcare provider with paying doctors millions of dollars in kickbacks (including the aforementioned tickets, bags and Benjamins) in a scheme to defraud the Medicare system. Los Angeles Times, "Newsletter: Verdict in Ghost Ship trial brings more pain and frustration for families," 6 Sep. 2019 In 2014 and 2015, Pullman and Lynch worked to defraud two unnamed companies seeking to receive contracts from the state, according to prosecutors. Joey Garrison, USA TODAY, "Former Massachusetts police union president used dues as 'personal piggy bank,' feds say," 21 Aug. 2019 Midway through Hustlers, the new Lorene Scafaria film that follows a group of New York City strippers who defraud their lunkhead patrons after the 2008 recession, Destiny (played by Constance Wu) receives a gift that shocks her with its weight. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "How Hustlers Captured the Excesses of Pre-Recession Fashion," 17 Sep. 2019 The trio ultimately defrauded victims out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, the indictment said. Max De Haldevang, Quartz, "Fraudsters made a local panhandler president of a shell company to hide their scheme," 12 Sep. 2019 What was happening to people who were defrauding the insurers? Marshall Allen, ProPublica, "We Asked Prosecutors if Health Insurance Companies Care About Fraud. They Laughed at Us.," 10 Sep. 2019 Justice Department prosecutor Erin Pulice said Bennett defrauded 46 investors out of more than $20 million in less than three years., "Maryland man gets 30 months in prison for $20M Ponzi scheme; accomplice tried to ward off feds with ‘hoodoo’," 3 Sep. 2019 Allie Molinda, Centennial Recalls defraud voters Recalls, as Republicans in Colorado are using them, are voter suppression after the fact. Dp Opinion, The Denver Post, "Letters: Curb population growth; Plastic bag ban would be easy; Recalls defraud voters (8/28/19)," 28 Aug. 2019

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

13 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for defraud

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

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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

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