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 site is composed of a group of tech-savvy volunteers seeking to expose lies and targeting the extremist community of people who purvey the idea that Sandy Hook was a hoax . Rubén Rosario, Twin Cities, "Rosario: The recent court victory against the Sandy Hook deniers has a Saintly City connection," 28 June 2019 Their lawsuit alleges that Jones has profited from spreading the story that the shooting was a hoax. Dave Altimari, courant.com, "Law enforcement authorities investigating threats against judge overseeing lawsuit involving Alex Jones and Sandy Hook families," 21 June 2019 The families of other Sandy Hook victims are also suing conspiracy theorist and InfoWars founder Alex Jones for promoting the theory Sandy Hook was a hoax. Lawrence Andrea, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Father of Sandy Hook victim finds vindication in ruling against Dane County hoaxer," 21 June 2019 This is another hoax on those poor people the progressives claim to represent and help. WSJ, "New Jersey’s Priorities Are Misplaced on Hair Braiding," 31 Aug. 2018 And then the president continued: Russian collusion with the Trump campaign, one of the most unsuccessful in history, is a total hoax. Fox News, "Sean Spicer: CNN's Jim Acosta owes Trump an apology," 2 Aug. 2018 Their lawsuit alleges that Jones has profited from spreading the story that the shooting was a hoax. David Owens, courant.com, "Connecticut judge sanctions Alex Jones for on-air Infowars tirade and threats after child pornography was discovered attached to emails sent to him," 19 June 2019 The families of several of the 20 children and six educators killed in the 2012 shooting are suing Jones, Infowars and others for promoting a theory that the massacre was a hoax. Washington Post, "The Latest: Alex Jones sanctioned in Sandy Hook lawsuit," 18 June 2019 Jones is being sued by the families for spreading the false conspiracy theory that the shooting, which claimed the lives of 20 children and six adults, is a hoax. Jason Silverstein, CBS News, "Alex Jones sanctioned by court after child porn dispute with Sandy Hook lawyers," 18 June 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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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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