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

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 nature of the racial hoax seems to have changed. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "Are Hate-Crime Laws Helping?," 22 Feb. 2019 The reaction to the Grievance Study hoax was mixed. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "The controversy around hoax studies in critical theory, explained," 15 Oct. 2018 Global warming is a total, and very expensive, hoax! Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Prince Charles and Prince William Reportedly Refused to Meet with Donald Trump," 16 July 2018 Those students reportedly blocked him when the hoax was found out. Rita Giordano, Philly.com, "Warrant issued for fake Alicia Keys DJ who duped Philadelphia school officials," 20 May 2018 As students, politicians and tech companies continue to respond to the conspiracy theories, here’s what to know about the controversy: What are the hoax conspiracy theories? Katie Reilly, Time, "Florida Shooting Survivors Are Being Targeted by Conspiracy Theories. Here's What to Know," 22 Feb. 2018 The indictment unsealed Wednesday charges Tyler Barriss with conspiracy, false information and hoaxes, cyberstalking, interstate threats and other charges. Fox News, "Feds charge California man, 2 gamers in deadly hoax call," 23 May 2018 The 24-year-old from Beverly, Mass., faces five counts of mailing threatening communications and false information and hoaxes, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts. Washington Post, "Man charged with threatening Trump Jr.," 7 Mar. 2018 After months of back and forth, President Donald Trump, who has referred to global warming as a hoax, announced on June 1, 2017, that the U.S. would withdraw from the international accord. Susmita Baral, Teen Vogue, "Trump and the Paris Climate Change Agreement, Explained," 2 Aug. 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

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 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

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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