mislead

verb

mis·​lead ˌmis-ˈlēd How to pronounce mislead (audio)
misled ˌmis-ˈled How to pronounce mislead (audio) ; misleading

transitive verb

: to lead in a wrong direction or into a mistaken action or belief often by deliberate deceit
His comments were a deliberate attempt to mislead the public.

intransitive verb

: to lead astray : give a wrong impression
exciting as they are, they misleadE. M. Forster
misleader noun
misleadingly adverb
Choose the Right Synonym for mislead

deceive, mislead, delude, beguile mean to lead astray or frustrate usually by underhandedness.

deceive implies imposing a false idea or belief that causes ignorance, bewilderment, or helplessness.

tried to deceive me about the cost

mislead implies a leading astray that may or may not be intentional.

I was misled by the confusing sign

delude implies deceiving so thoroughly as to obscure the truth.

we were deluded into thinking we were safe

beguile stresses the use of charm and persuasion in deceiving.

was beguiled by false promises

Examples of mislead in a Sentence

We believe that her comments were deliberately meant to mislead the public. We believe that her comments were deliberately meant to mislead.
Recent Examples on the Web Advertisement As federal agents investigated the city attorney’s office and its role in the fraudulent lawsuit, Feuer misled the FBI about the timeline of events and the extent of his office’s role in the scheme, Civetti said in the affidavit. Dakota Smith, Los Angeles Times, 16 May 2024 Reuters also reported yesterday that a U.S. judge has green-lit a class action lawsuit that claims Tesla misled owners into thinking their vehicles would soon become autonomous. David Meyer, Fortune, 16 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for mislead 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mislead.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of mislead was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near mislead

Cite this Entry

“Mislead.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mislead. Accessed 27 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

mislead

verb
mis·​lead (ˈ)mis-ˈlēd How to pronounce mislead (audio)
misled -ˈled How to pronounce mislead (audio) ; misleading
: to lead in a wrong direction or into a mistaken action or belief
misleading adjective

Legal Definition

mislead

verb
mis·​lead mis-ˈlēd How to pronounce mislead (audio)
misled -ˈled How to pronounce mislead (audio) ; misleading

transitive verb

: to lead into a mistaken action or belief : to cause to have a false impression

intransitive verb

: to create a false impression compare deceive

More from Merriam-Webster on mislead

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