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 Murray famously denounced climate change as a hoax while fighting clean-air mandates and lobbying to preserve the power plants that burn his coal. The Enquirer, "Ohio coal giant Murray Energy is $100K dark money donor ‘Company B’ in federal probe," 31 July 2020 Herman Caín thought Covid was a hoax, scoffed at wearing a mask. Dominick Mastrangelo, Washington Examiner, "'Abjectly disgusting': Conservatives blast Ana Navarro over tweet citing Herman Cain's death," 30 July 2020 Any chance at all this could be a terrible hoax or joke that someone is playing? David Begnaud, CBS News, "Chowchilla bus kidnapping survivor: "I felt like I was an animal going to the slaughterhouse"," 11 July 2020 People who think this is a hoax are never going to wear a mask. Paul Gattis | Pgattis@al.com, al, "Alabama mayors, hospital officials call for statewide mask requirement," 10 July 2020 People have all kinds of wild beliefs, but those who believe in the meat shower—or Bigfoot, or UFOs, or the FBI cover-up of the UFOs, or that Covid-19 is a hoax—only do so because somebody has told them about it in a compelling way. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "The American Obsession With Conspiracy Theories, Explained," 7 July 2020 But the hundreds of counterprotesters who showed up appear to have been duped by a social media hoax. Mike Brest, Washington Examiner, "Armed militias journey to Gettysburg in response to antifa flag-burning rumors," 6 July 2020 Critics quickly called the whole thing a hoax, prompting Wallace to go on CNN to stand up for himself. Greg Moore, The Arizona Republic, "Commentary: NASCAR's Bubba Wallace is ready to move on from noose, Confederate flag," 28 June 2020 Within segments of the political blogosphere, global warming is dismissed as either a hoax or so uncertain as to be unworthy of response. Adrian Bardon, Scientific American, "Coronavirus Responses Highlight How Humans Have Evolved to Dismiss Facts That Don’t Fit Their Worldview," 26 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for hoax

Time Traveler

The first known use of hoax was circa 1796

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Statistics for hoax

Cite this Entry

“Hoax.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hoax. Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for hoax

hoax

verb
How to pronounce hoax (audio)

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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