hoax

verb
\ ˈhōks How to pronounce hoax (audio) \
hoaxed; hoaxing; hoaxes

Definition of hoax

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to trick into believing or accepting as genuine something false and often preposterous were hoaxed by the website

hoax

noun

Definition of hoax (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act intended to trick or dupe : imposture the victim of a cruel hoax assumed the bomb threat was just a hoax
2 : something accepted or established by fraud or fabrication believes the Loch Ness Monster is a hoax a literary hoax

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Other Words from hoax

Verb

hoaxer noun

Examples of hoax in a Sentence

Verb a skilled forger who hoaxed the art world into believing that the paintings were long-lost Vermeers Noun The bomb threat is probably a hoax, but we should still evacuate the building. She was the victim of a cruel hoax.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb After trying to hoax journalists with Project Veritas, Loomer moved to direct confrontations with public figures in recent years, disrupting interviews and news conferences. Terry Spencer, sun-sentinel.com, 19 Aug. 2020 After trying to hoax journalists with Project Veritas, Loomer moved to direct confrontations with public figures in recent years, disrupting interviews and news conferences. Terry Spencer, orlandosentinel.com, 19 Aug. 2020 False news articles were deliberately spread across our feeds to hoax us. Joanna Stern, WSJ, 8 Nov. 2018 The effort, dubbed #ThinkBeforeYouPost, reminds would-be pranksters that hoax threats are not a joke and could result in federal or state charges. Karen Kucher, sandiegouniontribune.com, 10 June 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In 2009, a report of a 6-year-old Colorado boy trapped inside a runaway helium balloon engrossed the nation before the boy, Falcon Heene, was found safe at home in what turned out to be a hoax. BostonGlobe.com, 15 Oct. 2021 In August, Riverside police said the anonymous handwritten letter purportedly tying the Bates case to the Zodiac Killer was found to be a hoax. NBC News, 7 Oct. 2021 Alex Jones, the peddler of baseless, far-right conspiracy theories, was found liable for damages in three lawsuits surrounding his false claims that the 2012 Sandy Hook mass school shooting was a hoax. PEOPLE.com, 1 Oct. 2021 Similar hate hoaxes have unfolded across the country in recent years, including in 2017 when a racist note left on a student’s car turned out to be a hoax. Andrew Mark Miller, Fox News, 30 Sep. 2021 The shooting was portrayed on Jones' Infowars show as a hoax involving actors aimed at increasing gun control. Arkansas Online, 2 Oct. 2021 The shooting was portrayed on Jones' Infowars show as a hoax involving actors aimed at increasing gun control. CBS News, 1 Oct. 2021 Jones’ Infowars show as a hoax involving actors aimed at increasing gun control. Edmund H. Mahony, courant.com, 1 Oct. 2021 In a state where a huge chunk of the population would still rather think of COVID-19 as a hoax. John Archibald | Jarchibald@al.com, al, 2 Sep. 2021

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

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First Known Use of hoax

Verb

circa 1796, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1808, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for hoax

Verb and Noun

probably contraction of hocus

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Learn More About hoax

Dictionary Entries Near hoax

hoatzin

hoax

hob

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Statistics for hoax

Cite this Entry

“Hoax.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hoax. Accessed 28 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for hoax

hoax

verb

English Language Learners Definition of hoax

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to trick or deceive (someone)

hoax

noun

English Language Learners Definition of hoax (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act that is meant to trick or deceive people

hoax

verb
\ ˈhōks How to pronounce hoax (audio) \
hoaxed; hoaxing

Kids Definition of hoax

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to trick into thinking something is true or real when it isn't

hoax

noun

Kids Definition of hoax (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act meant to fool or deceive
2 : something false passed off as real

More from Merriam-Webster on hoax

Nglish: Translation of hoax for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hoax for Arabic Speakers

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