defraud

Synonym Chooser

How does the verb defraud contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of defraud are cheat, cozen, and swindle. While all these words mean "to get something by dishonesty or deception," defraud stresses depriving one of his or her rights and usually connotes deliberate perversion of the truth.

defrauded of her inheritance by an unscrupulous lawyer

When might cheat be a better fit than defraud?

While in some cases nearly identical to defraud, cheat suggests using trickery that escapes observation.

cheated me out of a dollar

When would cozen be a good substitute for defraud?

The words cozen and defraud can be used in similar contexts, but cozen implies artful persuading or flattering to attain a thing or a purpose.

always able to cozen her grandfather out of a few dollars

Where would swindle be a reasonable alternative to defraud?

In some situations, the words swindle and defraud are roughly equivalent. However, swindle implies large-scale cheating by misrepresentation or abuse of confidence.

swindled of their savings by con artists

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Cite this Entry

“Defraud.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/defraud. Accessed 4 Feb. 2023.

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