\ ˈchēt How to pronounce cheat (audio) \
cheated; cheating; cheats

Definition of cheat

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to deprive of something valuable by the use of deceit or fraud cheated the elderly couple out of their property
2 : to influence or lead by deceit, trick, or artifice a young man who cheated young women into marrying him when he was already married
3 : to elude or thwart by or as if by outwitting cheat death

intransitive verb

1a : to practice fraud or trickery denied the accusation that he cheated
b : to violate rules dishonestly cheat at cards cheating on a test
2 : to be sexually unfaithful usually used with on was cheating on his wife
3 : to position oneself defensively near a particular area in anticipation of a play in that area the shortstop was cheating toward second base



Definition of cheat (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act or an instance of fraudulently deceiving : deception, fraud His financial activity turned out to be a great cheat.
2 or cheat code : a code (such as a button combination or password) that activates a hidden feature or capability in a computer or video game In fact, some game levels are so tough that I had to resort to cheats to get through.— Peter Cohen Most people think that using a cheat code is the only way to earn a dishonest reward …— Christopher Breen
3 : one that cheats : pretender, deceiver is a liar and a cheat tax cheats
4 [probably from a deceptive resemblance to grain]
5 : the obtaining of property from another by an intentional active distortion of the truth

Choose the Right Synonym for cheat


cheat, cozen, defraud, swindle mean to get something by dishonesty or deception. cheat suggests using trickery that escapes observation. cheated me out of a dollar cozen implies artful persuading or flattering to attain a thing or a purpose. always able to cozen her grandfather out of a few dollars 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 swindle implies large-scale cheating by misrepresentation or abuse of confidence. swindled of their savings by con artists

Examples of cheat in a Sentence

Verb The players were accused of cheating. I had to cheat in order to solve the puzzle. The store cheats its customers through false advertising. They cheated him out of a fair deal. a heroin addict who has cheated death many times
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Prosecutors allege that parents paid Singer between $15,000 and $6.5 million each to cheat the college admissions system., 13 Sep. 2021 What a laboratory cannot tell from a sample is whether a positive result is from inadvertent contamination (from meat, for example) or is evidence of the tail end of a sophisticated micro-dosing regimen designed to cheat the system. Michele Verroken, Quartz, 4 Aug. 2021 The scene is one of the comedic highlights of the episode, but also, a source of strange discomfort - Kor clearly takes these trivia nights very seriously, and doesn’t want to cheat when Fielder suggests it. Dani Di Placido, Forbes, 18 July 2022 From 2012 to 2015, an internal company investigation found over 200 firm employees exploited a software glitch in the company’s testing platform to cheat on exams, the SEC said. Tory Newmyer,, 28 June 2022 For example, Affleck not only rides a bike but also allows his wife cheat on him, so we’re clearly supposed to see him as weak and ineffectual. Eben Weiss, Outside Online, 21 June 2022 He was accused of accepting nearly $240,000 in payments to cheat on the ACT and SAT exams, and other tests. Fox News, 8 Apr. 2022 While trying to cheat to win, Austin Theory made a rookie mistake by putting his feet on the top ropes, instead of the bottom. Alfred Konuwa, Forbes, 25 Jan. 2022 To push such a button and become free of the cartel, the FBI, and everything else, essentially starting over, would be to cheat the audience and bypass the explosive finale that’s waiting for us. Andy Meek, BGR, 30 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The idea here is to make example of cheaters, cheat-sellers, trolls and harassers in order to further discourage that behavior. Paul Tassi, Forbes, 19 July 2022 But Charlie also was a liar, a con man, a cheat with an even darker side than scamming people out of their life savings. Sun Sentinel, 7 July 2022 The Rock is known for having some pretty epic cheat days. Elijah Rawls, Men's Health, 22 June 2022 The positioning of defenders is choreographed and outlined on cheat sheets tucked in each player’s wrist band. Los Angeles Times, 19 May 2022 Most of the great champions of artificial intelligence in the past were effectively preloaded with cheat sheets. New York Times, 12 Apr. 2022 Sibilly’s storyline can get somewhat lost, and a sequence in which Brodie has various revelations while on mushrooms feels like the writers using a cheat code, fast-forwarding to get where conversation might have organically brought them. Daniel D'addario, Variety, 8 June 2022 There is no cheat code for greatness, but Apple TV’s Greatness Code feature digestibly short episodes centered around some of the world’s best athletes telling untold stories of moments that defined their careers. Keith Nelson, Men's Health, 25 May 2022 But there’s no cheat code that will allow Democrats to sneak climate policy past Republicans. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, 10 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cheat.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of cheat


1590, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1615, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cheat

Noun and Verb

earlier cheat forfeited property, from Middle English chet escheat, short for eschete — more at escheat

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Last Updated

4 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Cheat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for cheat


\ ˈchēt How to pronounce cheat (audio) \
cheated; cheating

Kids Definition of cheat

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to use unfair or dishonest methods to gain an advantage cheat on a test cheat at cards
2 : to take something away from or keep from having something by dishonest tricks "Old Mr. Peterson was cheated of his money by a dishonest agent …"— Janet Shaw, Meet Kirsten, an American Girl

Other Words from cheat

cheater \ ˈchē-​tər \ noun



Kids Definition of cheat (Entry 2 of 2)

: a dishonest person

More from Merriam-Webster on cheat

Nglish: Translation of cheat for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cheat for Arabic Speakers


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