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[cheet] /tʃit/
verb (used with object)
to defraud; swindle:
He cheated her out of her inheritance.
to deceive; influence by fraud:
He cheated us into believing him a hero.
to elude; deprive of something expected:
He cheated the law by suicide.
verb (used without object)
to practice fraud or deceit:
She cheats without regrets.
to violate rules or regulations:
He cheats at cards.
to take an examination or test in a dishonest way, as by improper access to answers.
Informal. to be sexually unfaithful (often followed by on):
Her husband knew she had been cheating all along. He cheated on his wife.
a person who acts dishonestly, deceives, or defrauds:
He is a cheat and a liar.
a fraud; swindle; deception:
The game was a cheat.
Law. the fraudulent obtaining of another's property by a pretense or trick.
an impostor:
The man who passed as an earl was a cheat.
Origin of cheat
1325-75; Middle English chet (noun) (aphetic for achet, variant of eschet escheat); cheten to escheat, derivative of chet (noun)
Related forms
cheatable, adjective
cheatingly, adverb
outcheat, verb (used with object)
uncheated, adjective
uncheating, adjective
1. mislead, dupe, delude; gull, con; hoax, fool. 8. swindler, trickster, sharper, dodger, charlatan, fraud, fake, phony, mountebank. 9. imposture, artifice, trick, hoax.
Synonym Study
1.Cheat, deceive, trick, victimize refer to the use of fraud or artifice deliberately to hoodwink or obtain an unfair advantage over someone. Cheat implies conducting matters fraudulently, especially for profit to oneself: to cheat at cards. Deceive suggests deliberately misleading or deluding, to produce misunderstanding or to prevent someone from knowing the truth: to deceive one's parents. To trick is to deceive by a stratagem, often of a petty, crafty, or dishonorable kind: to trick someone into signing a note. To victimize is to make a victim of; the emotional connotation makes the cheating, deception, or trickery seem particularly dastardly: to victimize a blind man. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for cheating
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Does it change the fact that you belong to God; that you are cheating Him out of His own property?

  • I'm not in the habit of cheating, nor of being told that I do, so I was not prepared with an answer.

  • She used to say it was no cheating of the minister to feed the minister's boys.

    Ranald Bannerman's Boyhood George MacDonald
  • That was Caley's last race; he'd been cheating the undertakers for years.

    Old Man Curry

    Charles E. (Charles Emmett) Van Loan
  • But because of the dual constitution of things, in labor as in life there can be no cheating.

    Essays, First Series Ralph Waldo Emerson
British Dictionary definitions for cheating


to deceive or practise deceit, esp for one's own gain; trick or swindle (someone)
(intransitive) to obtain unfair advantage by trickery, as in a game of cards
(transitive) to escape or avoid (something unpleasant) by luck or cunning: to cheat death
(informal) when intr, usually foll by on. to be sexually unfaithful to (one's wife, husband, or lover)
a person who cheats
a deliberately dishonest transaction, esp for gain; fraud
(informal) sham
(law) the obtaining of another's property by fraudulent means
the usual US name for rye-brome
Derived Forms
cheatable, adjective
cheater, noun
cheatingly, adverb
Word Origin
C14: short for escheat
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cheating

"deceptiveness, swindling," 1530s, verbal noun from cheat (v.).



mid-15c., "to escheat," a shortening of Old French escheat, legal term for revision of property to the state when the owner dies without heirs, literally "that which falls to one," past participle of escheoir "befall by chance, happen, devolve," from Vulgar Latin *excadere "to fall away," from Latin ex- "out" (see ex-) + cadere "to fall" (see case (n.1)). Also cf. escheat. The royal officers evidently had a low reputation. Meaning evolved through "confiscate" (mid-15c.) to "deprive unfairly" (1580s). To cheat on (someone) "be sexually unfaithful" first recorded 1934. Related: Cheated; cheating.



late 14c., "forfeited property," from cheat (v.). Meaning "a deceptive act" is from 1640s; earlier, in thieves' jargon, it meant "a stolen thing" (late 16c.), and earlier still "dice" (1530s). Meaning "a swindler" is from 1660s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for cheating



To be sexually unfaithful; get a little on the side (1930s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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