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dou·​ble-deal·​ing ˌdə-bəl-ˈdē-liŋ How to pronounce double-dealing (audio)
: action contradictory to a professed attitude : duplicity
double-dealer noun


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: given to or marked by duplicity
Choose the Right Synonym for double-dealing

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 double-dealing in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Downey’s performance, equal parts subtly scented aftershave and snake oil, is a double-dealing marvel. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, 19 July 2023 Having a computer be the antagonistic heart of the film instead of a human baddie is a huge swing, though, and consequently this first of a two-part story line faces some narrative obstacles amid the usual face-swapping, double-dealing spycraft. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, 5 July 2023 Dive into these series for the thrill of family backstabbing, corporate double-dealing or simply for the maladjusted — and wealthy and/or powerful — bringing out the worst in one another, typically (except for a few aspirational exceptions). Etan Vlessing, The Hollywood Reporter, 10 June 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'double-dealing.' 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


1529, in the meaning defined above


1587, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of double-dealing was in 1529

Dictionary Entries Near double-dealing

Cite this Entry

“Double-dealing.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


double-dealer noun
double-dealing adjective
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