Definition of hoodwink
- people who allow themselves to be hoodwinked by such promises
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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.
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.
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 almost a century and a half. Two hundred and fifty years later, this meaning of the word hasn't changed a wink: "The American public has been hoodwinked and fleeced," wrote Theodore Wolff, for example, in the Iowa State Daily on July 6, 2006.
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