Synonyms of swindle

(Entry 1 of 2)

an instance of the use of dishonest methods to acquire something of value
  • identity theft has become one of the most frequent and feared swindles of our time

Synonyms for swindle

Words Related to swindle



Synonyms of swindle (Entry 2 of 2)

to rob by the use of trickery or threats
  • hundreds of people were swindled out of their savings, and all they had to show for it were fake land deeds

Synonyms for swindle

Words Related to swindle

Phrases Synonymous with swindle

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About swindle

How does the verb swindle contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of swindle are cheat, cozen, and defraud. While all these words mean "to get something by dishonesty or deception," swindle implies large-scale cheating by misrepresentation or abuse of confidence.

swindled of their savings by con artists

When would cheat be a good substitute for swindle?

The words cheat and swindle are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, cheat suggests using trickery that escapes observation.

cheated me out of a dollar

When might cozen be a better fit than swindle?

The synonyms cozen and swindle are sometimes interchangeable, 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

When could defraud be used to replace swindle?

The meanings of defraud and swindle largely overlap; however, 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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about swindle

Time Traveler for swindle

Time Traveler

The first known use of swindle was in 1773

See more words from the same year

Cite this Entry

“Swindle.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Sep. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on swindle

Dictionary: Definition of swindle

Nglish: Translation of swindle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of swindle for Arabic Speakers

Comments on swindle

What made you want to look up swindle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Dog Words Quiz

  • shiba puppy more or less demanding cuddles
  • Which of the following animals has a dog in its etymology?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!