- the act or practice of deceiving; concealment or distortion of the truth for the purpose of misleading; duplicity; fraud; cheating: Once she exposed their deceit, no one ever trusted them again.
- an act or device intended to deceive; trick; stratagem.
- the quality of being deceitful; duplicity; falseness: a man full of deceit.
Origin of deceit
SynonymsSee more synonyms for deceit on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for deceit
“I was truly appalled by the realization of the deceit involved,” Bradlee wrote.The Bizarre Tale of Ben Bradlee, JFK, and the Master Spy
October 22, 2014
Just like a Law & Order episode, the Mississippi Senate race has featured felonies, courtroom drama, lies, and deceit.New Bribery Claims In Mississippi Senate Race
August 6, 2014
For years now, deceit has been an institutional norm in facilities across the VA.VA Scandal: How a General Lost Command
May 30, 2014
He lines his pockets when opportunities arise, and gets ahead of domestic rivals by craft and deceit.‘300’ Is a Misleading, Muscle-Bound Travesty of Ancient History
March 13, 2014
But these two pillars of support for lethal injection have always been based on a form of deceit.What Happens to the Death Penalty When Lethal Injection Isn’t Quick and Painless?
January 21, 2014
There was nothing of the Warden's estimate in these eyes; nothing of cruelty nor deceit nor greed.The Underdog
F. Hopkinson Smith
It must be my duty to reprove, to show her her deceit in its full enormity.
No, no—depend upon it there must have been some other reason for the deceit.
His present deceit was the natural consequence of the system he had adopted.Gomez Arias
Joaqun Telesforo de Trueba y Coso
We suspected not that deceit, insidiousness, and slavery were to be found beneath the sun.Imogen
- the act or practice of deceiving
- a statement, act, or device intended to mislead; fraud; trick
- a tendency to deceive
Word Origin and History for deceit
c.1300, from Old French deceite, fem. past participle of deceveir (see deceive).
Deceit is a shorter and more energetic word for deceitfulness, indicating the quality; it is also, but more rarely, used to express the act or manner of deceiving. The reverse is true of deception, which is properly the act or course by which one deceives, and not properly the quality; it may express the state of being deceived. Fraud is an act or series of acts of deceit by which one attempts to benefit himself at the expense of others. It is generally a breaking of the law; the others are not. [entry for "deceit" in "The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia," 1902]