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[frawd] /frɔd/
deceit, trickery, sharp practice, or breach of confidence, perpetrated for profit or to gain some unfair or dishonest advantage.
a particular instance of such deceit or trickery:
mail fraud; election frauds.
any deception, trickery, or humbug:
That diet book is a fraud and a waste of time.
a person who makes deceitful pretenses; sham; poseur.
Origin of fraud
1300-50; Middle English fraude < Old French < Medieval Latin fraud- (stem of fraus) deceit, injury
Related forms
fraudful, adjective
fraudfully, adverb
antifraud, adjective
prefraud, noun
3. wile, hoax.
Synonym Study
1. See duplicity. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for fraud
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "Then I can only say that Captain Rushton was a party to the fraud," he said.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • "I'll venture insurance is at the bottom of this fraud, Caradoc," hazarded Madden.

    The Cruise of the Dry Dock T. S. Stribling
  • When it is complicated by fraud or other crimes, it is the latter only which are concerned.

    The Sexual Question August Forel
  • You mean it for the best; but I could not be party to a fraud.

    Cleo The Magnificent

    Louis Zangwill
  • How was it you did not detect the fraud, if only by the voice?

    A Nest of Spies Pierre Souvestre
British Dictionary definitions for fraud


deliberate deception, trickery, or cheating intended to gain an advantage
an act or instance of such deception
something false or spurious: his explanation was a fraud
(informal) a person who acts in a false or deceitful way
Word Origin
C14: from Old French fraude, from Latin fraus deception
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 fraud

"criminal deception," early 14c., from Old French fraude "deception, fraud" (13c.), from Latin fraudem (nominative fraus) "deceit, injury." The noun meaning "impostor, humbug" is attested from 1850. Pious fraud "deception practiced for the sake of what is deemed a good purpose" is from 1560s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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