horn·​swog·​gle | \ ˈhȯrn-ˌswä-gəl How to pronounce hornswoggle (audio) \
hornswoggled; hornswoggling\ ˈhȯrn-​ˌswä-​g(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce hornswoggling (audio) \; hornswoggles

Definition of hornswoggle

transitive verb

: to trick or deceive (someone) : bamboozle, hoax … trying to avoid getting hornswoggled by advertising claims …— Jennifer Rude Klett often used with into or out ofBy the end of the call, Santillo had allegedly hornswoggled Olson into parting with her life savings …— Gary CraigIf you want to know what hell can really do in the way of furies, look for the chap who has been hornswoggled into taking a long and unnecessary bicycle ride in the dark without a lamp.— P. G. WodehouseHe also saw his mother get hornswoggled out of $500—seven weeks' salary, the family's entire savings—by a slick traveling vacuum salesman.— Kim Lachance Shandrow

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of hornswoggle in a Sentence

I think we've been hornswoggled by that carnival barker.

First Known Use of hornswoggle

1877, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hornswoggle

origin unknown

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about hornswoggle

Listen to Our Podcast about hornswoggle

Statistics for hornswoggle

Time Traveler for hornswoggle

The first known use of hornswoggle was in 1877

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on hornswoggle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hornswoggle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hornswoggle

Comments on hornswoggle

What made you want to look up hornswoggle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something of little or no value

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • rotelle pasta
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!