hoax

verb
\ ˈhōks \
hoaxed; hoaxing; hoaxes

Definition of hoax

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to trick into believing or accepting as genuine something false and often preposterous were hoaxed by the website

hoax

noun

Definition of hoax (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act intended to trick or dupe : imposture the victim of a cruel hoax assumed the bomb threat was just a hoax
2 : something accepted or established by fraud or fabrication believes the Loch Ness Monster is a hoax a literary hoax

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Other Words from hoax

Verb

hoaxer noun

Examples of hoax in a Sentence

Verb

a skilled forger who hoaxed the art world into believing that the paintings were long-lost Vermeers

Noun

The bomb threat is probably a hoax, but we should still evacuate the building. She was the victim of a cruel hoax.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

False news articles were deliberately spread across our feeds to hoax us. Joanna Stern, WSJ, "Facebook Portal Non-Review: Why I Didn’t Put Facebook’s Camera in My Home," 8 Nov. 2018 The effort, dubbed #ThinkBeforeYouPost, reminds would-be pranksters that hoax threats are not a joke and could result in federal or state charges. Karen Kucher, sandiegouniontribune.com, "FBI launches campaign to 'think before you post' hoax threats," 10 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

That this was a hoax and not a real investigation meant to distract my presidency. Fox News, "Women who know Kavanaugh rush to his defense," 18 Sep. 2018 Especially since President Trump has continued to call the Russia investigation a hoax and a witch hunt, and expressed interest in improving relations with Putin. Ken Dilanian /, NBC News, "The timing, the proof, the details: Takeaways from Mueller's new indictments," 13 July 2018 As his voice matured, Clemens’s stories, hoaxes, and brutal sketches grew into something entirely American, encapsulating the terrible whimsy, painful irony, and outrageous hilarity of life on the mining frontier. Gregory Crouch, Time, "Mark Twain Claimed He Got His Pen Name From a Riverboat Captain. He May Have Actually Gotten It in a Saloon," 19 June 2018 Other posts referenced false conspiracy theories suggesting the Holocaust was a hoax. Lisa Marie Pane, The Seattle Times, "Online rants by would-be shooters create dilemma for police," 30 Oct. 2018 Twitter has also been under mounting pressure to ban Jones, notably for spreading false assertions that the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut was a hoax. Casey Newton, The Verge, "A conservative Facebook would probably fail — but Facebook should worry about it anyway," 31 Aug. 2018 The hoax call originated from a disagreement over a Call of Duty match on which a bet of $1.50 was placed. Jon Porter, The Verge, "California man pleads guilty to fatal swatting and FCC bomb threat," 14 Nov. 2018 Upon his death in 2002, it was revealed that this was a hoax. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, "Science Meets Legend: The Story of Our Search for Bigfoot," 8 Oct. 2018 Here's what worked, what kind of worked, and what was basically a hoax. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "Here's the Best Way to Seed a Pomegranate," 3 Oct. 2018

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

Verb

circa 1796, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1808, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for hoax

Verb and Noun

probably contraction of hocus

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Learn More about hoax

Dictionary Entries near hoax

hoary willow

hoast

hoatzin

hoax

hob

hob and nob

Hobart

Statistics for hoax

Last Updated

22 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hoax

The first known use of hoax was circa 1796

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More Definitions for hoax

hoax

verb

English Language Learners Definition of hoax

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to trick or deceive (someone)

hoax

noun

English Language Learners Definition of hoax (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act that is meant to trick or deceive people

hoax

verb
\ ˈhōks \
hoaxed; hoaxing

Kids Definition of hoax

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to trick into thinking something is true or real when it isn't

hoax

noun

Kids Definition of hoax (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act meant to fool or deceive
2 : something false passed off as real

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More from Merriam-Webster on hoax

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hoax

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hoax

Spanish Central: Translation of hoax

Nglish: Translation of hoax for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hoax for Arabic Speakers

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