hoax

verb
\ ˈhōks How to pronounce hoax (audio) \
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 After trying to hoax journalists with Project Veritas, Loomer moved to direct confrontations with public figures in recent years, disrupting interviews and news conferences. Terry Spencer, sun-sentinel.com, "Social media provocateur Laura Loomer wins Palm Beach County GOP primary to challenge Rep. Lois Frankel in November," 19 Aug. 2020 After trying to hoax journalists with Project Veritas, Loomer moved to direct confrontations with public figures in recent years, disrupting interviews and news conferences. Terry Spencer, orlandosentinel.com, "Social media provocateur Laura Loomer wins GOP primary to challenge Rep. Lois Frankel," 19 Aug. 2020 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 The sheriff rejected any suggestion the 911 calls were a hoax. Mark Dunphy, San Antonio Express-News, "'We are dying': BCSO says 911 calls report 80 people trapped inside 18-wheeler in Bexar County," 12 Feb. 2021 Some in this region, which heavily supported President Trump, thought the virus was a hoax and would go away after the election, health officials say. Los Angeles Times, "For a rural family, COVID-19 felt like a distant threat. Until it devastated them," 7 Feb. 2021 Some House Democrats are calling for the expulsion of Ms. Greene, who, among other things, has promoted a conspiracy theory that the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a hoax. New York Times, "For McCarthy and McConnell, Two Paths on Trumpian Crisis Management," 30 Jan. 2021 The medical evidence is clear: The coronavirus global health threat is not an elaborate hoax. Arkansas Online, "OPINION | EMMA FRANCES BLOOMFIELD: How to talk to the misinformed," 4 Jan. 2021 Already, conspiracy theorists, QAnon supporters, and far-right groups believe COVID-19 to be a hoax or a nonissue, and this network, alongside traditional anti-vaccine activists, will downplay or disparage the vaccines. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, "Pandemic Year Two," 29 Dec. 2020 An old hoax has resurfaced in a viral article that claims NASA recently announced Earth will go dark for six days in December. Mckenzie Sadeghi, USA TODAY, "Fact check: NASA warning of six days of darkness is a hoax," 19 Dec. 2020 Covid denial, as some health-care workers call it, ranges from a belief that the virus is no more serious than a routine cold, and belief that face masks aren’t effective, to the idea that the pandemic is an elaborate hoax. WSJ, "Coronavirus Live Updates: U.S. Deaths Hit a Daily Record as Newly Reported Cases Surge," 3 Dec. 2020 There were people who definitely believed that this was a hoax. CBS News, "Dr. Deborah Birx on the Trump White House, the politics of the pandemic, retirement and more," 24 Jan. 2021

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

Statistics for hoax

Cite this Entry

“Hoax.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hoax. Accessed 24 Feb. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce hoax (audio) \
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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hoax

Nglish: Translation of hoax for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hoax for Arabic Speakers

Comments on hoax

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