as in deceit
the inclination or practice of misleading others through lies or trickery a telemarketing company with a reputation for deception

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How does the noun deception differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of deception are double-dealing, fraud, subterfuge, and trickery. While all these words mean "the acts or practices of one who deliberately deceives," deception may or may not imply blameworthiness, since it may suggest cheating or merely tactical resource.

magicians are masters of deception

Where would double-dealing be a reasonable alternative to deception?

In some situations, the words double-dealing and deception are roughly equivalent. However, double-dealing suggests treachery or at least action contrary to a professed attitude.

a go-between suspected of double-dealing

When would fraud be a good substitute for deception?

While in some cases nearly identical to deception, fraud always implies guilt and often criminality in act or practice.

indicted for fraud

When can subterfuge be used instead of deception?

Although the words subterfuge and deception have much in common, subterfuge suggests the adoption of a stratagem or the telling of a lie in order to escape guilt or to gain an end.

obtained the papers by subterfuge

In what contexts can trickery take the place of deception?

The words trickery and deception are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, trickery implies ingenious acts intended to dupe or cheat.

resorted to trickery to gain their ends

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Cite this Entry

“Deception.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/deception. Accessed 28 Nov. 2022.

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