mislead

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

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Other Words from mislead

misleader noun
misleadingly \ ˌmis-​ˈlē-​diŋ-​lē How to pronounce misleadingly (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 On Wednesday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Trump never lied or mislead the public. Josh Wingrove, Bloomberg.com, "Trump Says He Downplayed Virus Threat to Maintain U.S. Calm," 9 Sep. 2020 The dispute is over a loophole in Facebook’s leaky fact-checking operation that has allowed climate change deniers to circumvent fact-checkers and spread misinformation meant to mislead readers about the reliability of climate modeling. Paul Douglas, Star Tribune, "Chilliest September 8 on Record at MSP, but Glorious 70s Return Next Week," 8 Sep. 2020 Facebook included rules against implicit attempts to mislead users about voting procedures in its efforts to end voter suppression through the platform. Wsj Noted., WSJ, "Here’s How Facebook Is Preparing to Combat Election Misinformation," 3 Sep. 2020 In his New York Times op-ed, Steve Rattner adds his name to the list of people willing to compromise their reputation to mislead the American people. Ed Conard, National Review, "Lies, Damned Lies, and Steve Rattner’s Statistics," 31 Aug. 2020 The inflated figures—which average around 60 percent for private clinics in the US, according to a 2012 article in the Indiana Law Journal—often mislead consumers. Popular Science, "Most Americans can’t afford fertility treatments anymore—so they’re going abroad," 24 Aug. 2020 Alphabet’s Google also announced an initiative on Thursday to distribute accurate voting information and fight efforts to mislead voters about the electoral process. Kurt Wagner, Fortune, "Facebook adds voting hub to combat election disinformation," 13 Aug. 2020 The Center for Voter Information also reportedly attempted to mislead voters into thinking the ballots came from an official government source. Nick Givas, Fox News, "Honest Elections Project criticizes Virginia group for mailing unsolicited ballot applications," 12 Aug. 2020 This test has no ability to reassure people, but a real ability to mislead. James Hamblin, The Atlantic, "Paging Dr. Hamblin: Everyone Wants to Check My Temperature," 12 Aug. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of mislead

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

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Time Traveler for mislead

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for mislead

Last Updated

17 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Mislead.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mislead. Accessed 21 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for mislead

mislead

verb
How to pronounce mislead (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of mislead

: to cause (someone) to believe something that is not true

mislead

verb
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.

mislead

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

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