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

Definition of mislead

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 mislead— E. M. Forster

Other Words from mislead

misleader noun
misleadingly \ ˌmis-​ˈlē-​diŋ-​lē How to pronounce mislead (audio) \ 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 FatMan helped orchestrate Monday’s suit by organizing a group of 2000 Terra aggrieved investors who allege they were mislead by a number of entities. Fortune, 13 June 2022 Dark patterns, which are tactics that mislead people into giving personal data to companies online, will also be prohibited. Fox News, 5 July 2022 Simple averages often mislead and, importantly, crafting strategies based on misleading data often does more harm than good. Roland Fryer, Fortune, 20 June 2022 School leaders have expressed concern that the new language is confusing and could mislead voters. Arika Herron, The Indianapolis Star, 27 Apr. 2022 The campaign manager for Shontel Brown’s Democratic primary opponent, Nina Turner, accused her of taking credit for other people’s work, trying to mislead voters, and failing to deliver for the district. Sabrina Eaton, cleveland, 5 Apr. 2022 The number of details that can be processed seems infinite, but seeing only limited parts of data can mislead teams into making wrong decisions. Rohit Amarnath, Forbes, 2 May 2022 That Telegram very rarely removes or blocks content — whether for being offensive, explicit or intentionally designed to mislead people — is by design. NBC News, 5 Mar. 2022 Words that, at best, are meant to mislead the people of Minneapolis, and at worst are quite simply lies aimed at portraying Amir as a criminal. Tori B. Powell, CBS News, 5 Feb. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of mislead

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

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

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Last Updated

1 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Mislead.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mislead. Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for mislead


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

Kids Definition of mislead

: to cause (someone) to believe something that is not true His comments were intended to mislead the public.


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

Legal Definition of mislead

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

Nglish: Translation of mislead for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of mislead for Arabic Speakers


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