pyramid scheme


Definition of pyramid scheme

: a usually illegal operation in which participants pay to join and profit mainly from payments made by subsequent participants

Examples of pyramid scheme in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Loewenstein is nonplussed when asked what happens to Spatial’s business if NFTs turn out to be a pyramid scheme. Lauren Goode, Wired, 15 Nov. 2021 The culty pyramid scheme concocted by founders Mark and Deanne Stidham allegedly urged women to sell their breast milk in exchange for $20,000 worth of start-up costs. Lauren Sanchez, Vogue, 15 Oct. 2021 Some high-profile examples of these scams include Velox 10 Global, a pyramid scheme with roots in Brazil, in which Kenyans lost millions of shillings in 2018 and 2019. Carlos Mureithi, Quartz, 14 Oct. 2021 Cemeteries work on something like a pyramid scheme: payments for new plots cover the cost of maintaining old ones. Jill Lepore, The New Yorker, 27 Sep. 2021 In late 2020, the public integrity unit began investigating an officer who was suspected of taking part in a pyramid scheme. Dallas News, 2 Oct. 2021 If your big payoff depends on the recruitment of others, you are probably being enticed into a pyramid scheme. Washington Post, 1 Oct. 2021 Earlier this year, LuLaRoe settled a lawsuit with Washington State accusing it of running a pyramid scheme for $4.75 million. Jonathan Berr, Forbes, 11 Sep. 2021 During the series, the pair maintain that their business is not a pyramid scheme, that LuLaRoe consultants always made money primarily off of selling the products, and that there have never been significant issues with the quality of their products. CNN, 13 Sep. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pyramid scheme.' 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 pyramid scheme

1949, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for pyramid scheme

Time Traveler

The first known use of pyramid scheme was in 1949

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Dictionary Entries Near pyramid scheme

pyramid roof

pyramid scheme

pyramid shell

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Statistics for pyramid scheme

Last Updated

22 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pyramid scheme.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for pyramid scheme

pyramid scheme


English Language Learners Definition of pyramid scheme

: a dishonest and usually illegal business in which many people are persuaded to invest their money and the money of later investors is used to pay the people who invested first

More from Merriam-Webster on pyramid scheme

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pyramid scheme


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