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

Tyler Barriss, the California man who made the hoax call, was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Cnn.com Wire Service, The Mercury News, "Fortnite ‘swatting’: Armed police enter champion gamer’s home during livestream," 13 Aug. 2019 The man who made the hoax call was recently sentenced to 20 years in prison. Leah Asmelash, CNN, "Teen Fortnite World Champion Kyle 'Bugha' Giersdorf was 'swatted' during a livestream," 13 Aug. 2019 The man behind the hoax call was sentenced to 20 years in prison earlier this year for his role in Finch's death. Kate Cox, Ars Technica, "$3 million Fortnite winner—and his parents—become latest swatting targets," 12 Aug. 2019 Several, including Devin Nunes, the senior Republican on the intelligence committee, advanced the conspiracy theory that the entire affair had been a hoax concocted by Democrats and Russia. The Economist, "Impeachment looks even less likely now than before Robert Mueller’s testimony," 25 July 2019 Huddersfield Town will officially be 'unsponsored' by Paddy Power this season after the online bookmaker revealed that the club's viral shock kit launch was actually a hoax as part of a new social media campaign. SI.com, "Paddy Power 'Unsponsor' Huddersfield After Revealing Viral Kit Launch Was a Hoax (Shock)," 19 July 2019 Tejeda was also questioned by law enforcement the day before the attack regarding a hoax bomb threat at multiple airports, a State Police spokesman said. Travis Andersen, BostonGlobe.com, "Boston EMT wounded in stabbing was in ‘pretty good spirits’ as she left hospital, official says," 12 July 2019 Mysterio was all a hoax, made up for the explicit purpose of duping little Peter Parker. Allegra Frank, Vox, "After Spider-Man: Far From Home, the MCU multiverse remains unclear.," 11 July 2019 The concept of MAPs and its flag is actually a social media hoax. Lily Altavena, azcentral, "Online hoax sends Diane Douglas on 'pedephilia' rant against Arizona officials," 4 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

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