hood·​wink | \ ˈhu̇d-ˌwiŋk How to pronounce hoodwink (audio) \
hoodwinked; hoodwinking; hoodwinks

Definition of hoodwink

transitive verb

1 : to deceive by false appearance : dupe people who allow themselves to be hoodwinked by such promises
2 archaic : blindfold
3 obsolete : hide

Other Words from hoodwink

hoodwinker noun

Did you know?

A now-obsolete sense of the word wink is "to close one's eyes," and hoodwink once meant to cover the eyes of someone, such as a prisoner, with a hood or blindfold. (Hoodwink was also once a name for the game of blindman's buff.) This 16th-century term soon came to be used figuratively for veiling the truth. "The Public is easily hood-winked," wrote the Irish physician Charles Lucas in 1756, by which time the figurative use had been around for quite a while—and today, the meaning of the word hasn't changed a wink.

Examples of hoodwink in a Sentence

Don't let yourself be hoodwinked into buying things you don't need. Tom Sawyer famously hoodwinked the other boys into thinking there was nothing more enjoyable than whitewashing a fence.
Recent Examples on the Web Couples who manage to hoodwink their families stay in the competition, while those who can't sell the lie are out. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, 11 Feb. 2022 Paired with knowledge gleaned over decades from scientists studying the mechanisms the immune system uses to detect foreign invaders, these tools could be used to hoodwink it into regarding the pig as something more akin to a friendly tourist. Megan Molteni, STAT, 24 Jan. 2022 But the intention of the piece was not to hoodwink. BostonGlobe.com, 18 Nov. 2021 Here’s how that would possibly be cleverly staged to hoodwink the baddies. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 12 June 2021 Was Fox a co-conspirator in the effort to hoodwink the American people? Nicholas Goldberg, Star Tribune, 5 May 2021 Polls after the election found voters recognized the taxing and spending numbers didn’t add up, and disliked Mr. Corbyn for trying to hoodwink them. Joseph C. Sternberg, WSJ, 24 Sep. 2020 Throughout his trial, Scrushy denied knowledge of any financial impropriety, saying he’d been hoodwinked by high-level employees at HealthSouth. Mary Colurso | Mcolurso@al.com, al, 14 May 2020 This order in its entirety is a casual attempt, cosmetic in its nature, to hoodwink the people of J&K who genuinely believed that post-Oct. Riyaz Wani, Quartz India, 6 Apr. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hoodwink.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of hoodwink

1562, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for hoodwink

hood entry 1 + wink

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Time Traveler for hoodwink

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The first known use of hoodwink was in 1562

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Cite this Entry

“Hoodwink.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hoodwink. Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for hoodwink


hood·​wink | \ ˈhu̇d-ˌwiŋk How to pronounce hoodwink (audio) \
hoodwinked; hoodwinking

Kids Definition of hoodwink

: to mislead by trickery "I will personally be ensuring that no underage student hoodwinks our impartial judge …"— J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

More from Merriam-Webster on hoodwink

Nglish: Translation of hoodwink for Spanish Speakers


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