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90s Slang You Should Know


[swin-dl] /ˈswɪn dl/
verb (used with object), swindled, swindling.
to cheat (a person, business, etc.) out of money or other assets.
to obtain by fraud or deceit.
verb (used without object), swindled, swindling.
to put forward plausible schemes or use unscrupulous trickery to defraud others; cheat.
an act of swindling or a fraudulent transaction or scheme.
anything deceptive; a fraud:
This advertisement is a real swindle.
Origin of swindle
1775-85; back formation from swindler < German Schwindler irresponsible person, promoter of wildcat schemes, cheat, derivative of schwindeln to be dizzy (hence dizzy-minded, irresponsible), defraud, equivalent to schwind- (akin to Old English swindan to languish) + -(e)l- -le + -er -er1
Related forms
swindleable, adjective
swindler, noun
swindlingly, adverb
outswindle, verb (used with object), outswindled, outswindling.
1. cozen, dupe, trick, gull. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for swindle
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Bois l'Hery's horses were unsound, Schwalbach's gallery was a swindle, Moessard's articles a recognised blackmail.

    The Nabob Alphonse Daudet
  • He determined to put a stop to such a swindle as was contemplated.

    Colorado Jim George Goodchild
  • He generally hustles to where the miners have plenty of money for him to swindle them out of.

    Two Boy Gold Miners Frank V. Webster
  • So this is where you drifted to after the swindle at Silver Run.

  • Verily, he is a scheming man, who will swindle you out of the eight hundred pounds when you have secured it.

  • The swindle was consummated, but there is no whisper of the disposition of the spoils.

  • The new comer was Abner Dorsett, the man who had helped to swindle Franks mother out of her fortune.

    Bound to Succeed Allen Chapman
  • And you allowed this swindle to go on all that time without saying a word!

    A Black Adonis Linn Boyd Porter
British Dictionary definitions for swindle


to cheat (someone) of money, etc; defraud
(transitive) to obtain (money, etc) by fraud
a fraudulent scheme or transaction
Derived Forms
swindler, noun
Word Origin
C18: back formation from German Schwindler, from schwindeln, from Old High German swintilōn, frequentative of swintan to disappear
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 swindle

1782, back-formation from swindler. Related: Swindled; swindling. As a noun from 1833.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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