Synonym Chooser

How does the verb deceive differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of deceive are beguile, delude, and mislead. While all these words 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

In what contexts can beguile take the place of deceive?

Although the words beguile and deceive have much in common, beguile stresses the use of charm and persuasion in deceiving.

was beguiled by false promises

When is delude a more appropriate choice than deceive?

While the synonyms delude and deceive are close in meaning, delude implies deceiving so thoroughly as to obscure the truth.

we were deluded into thinking we were safe

When is it sensible to use mislead instead of deceive?

The words mislead and deceive can be used in similar contexts, but mislead implies a leading astray that may or may not be intentional.

I was misled by the confusing sign

Thesaurus Entries Near deceive

Cite this Entry

“Deceive.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on deceive

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