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

Before his election, Trump had described climate change a Chinese hoax. John Fritze, USA TODAY, "On climate, Trump says he won't lose nation's wealth to 'dreams and windmills'," 26 Aug. 2019 More recently the Heene Balloon Boy Hoax of Oct.15, 2009, joined a long list of schemes and scams in a state founded on what many called a gold hoax. Tom Noel, The Know, "16 strange, spooky and (mostly) true Colorado stories to tell around a campfire," 24 Aug. 2019 The image appears to be a variation of a hoax that has regularly gone viral on Facebook over the past decade. Alyssa Newcomb, Fortune, "Millions View Instagram Privacy Policy Hoax Shared by Rick Perry, Megan Rapinoe, Usher, and Julia Roberts," 21 Aug. 2019 Often they were missed, or the government panicked without reason, dragging along a public panicked by hoaxes posted online. The Economist, "Obituary: Sutopo Purwo Nugroho died on July 7th," 10 Aug. 2019 The two also are accused of placing a hoax destructive device in the facility, according to prosecutors. oregonlive.com, "Two Bend men face federal charges, accused of placing fake bomb at Deschutes County Courthouse," 9 Aug. 2019 Luckily, despite the realistic-looking photo and the councilwoman's bogus claims, blue waffle disease is nothing more than an internet hoax. Christina Oehler, Health.com, "Is Blue Waffle Disease Real? Here’s What a Gynecologist Says," 23 July 2019 Several wellness fads, from celery juice to bogus diets, and dangerous misinformation trends, like anti-vaccination hoaxes. have prospered on the photo-sharing social network. Anne Quito, Quartzy, "A new “university” for Instagram influencers aims to stop the spread of misinformation," 23 July 2019 Does this page’s existence — and popularity — suggest Facebook is becoming a less attractive place for hoaxes? Casey Newton, The Verge, "A Facebook civil rights audit could have unintended consequences," 2 July 2019

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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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

Comments on hoax

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