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90s Slang You Should Know


[dih-sep-tiv] /dɪˈsɛp tɪv/
apt or tending to deceive:
The enemy's peaceful overtures may be deceptive.
perceptually misleading:
It looks like a curved line, but it's deceptive.
Origin of deceptive
1605-15; < Medieval Latin dēceptīvus, equivalent to Latin dēcept(us) (see deception) + -īvus -ive
Related forms
deceptively, adverb
deceptiveness, noun
nondeceptive, adjective
nondeceptively, adverb
nondeceptiveness, noun
undeceptive, adjective
undeceptively, adverb
undeceptiveness, noun
1. delusive, fallacious, specious. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for deceptive
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It seemed far off; but there is nothing so deceptive as the view over a flat surface.

    Arthur O'Leary Charles James Lever
  • I was astonished to see how cool he was; but I think the whistle had a deceptive effect.

    Down The River Oliver Optic
  • In fact so deceptive became almost every ship in the dim light of dawn and dusk that collisions were often narrowly averted.

    Submarine Warfare of To-day Charles W. Domville-Fife
  • But it was also a deceptive method because what could not be explained was omitted.

  • It was the same with a $10 note of deceptive workmanship which appeared in New York.

    Disputed Handwriting Jerome B. Lavay
British Dictionary definitions for deceptive


likely or designed to deceive; misleading: appearances can be deceptive
(music) (of a cadence) another word for interrupted (sense 3)
Derived Forms
deceptively, adverb
deceptiveness, noun
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 deceptive

1610s, from French deceptif (late 14c.), from Medieval Latin deceptivus, from decept-, past participle stem of Latin decipere (see deceive). Earlier in this sense was deceptious (c.1600), from French deceptieux, from Medieval Latin deceptiosus, from deceptionem. Related: Deceptively; deceptiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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