View synonyms for deceive


[ dih-seev ]

verb (used with object)

, de·ceived, de·ceiv·ing.
  1. to mislead by a false appearance or statement; delude:

    They deceived the enemy by disguising the destroyer as a freighter.

    Synonyms: betray, ensnare, entrap, outwit, defraud, trick, hoodwink, gull, fool, dupe, cozen

  2. to be unfaithful to (one's spouse or lover).
  3. Archaic. to while away (time).

verb (used without object)

, de·ceived, de·ceiv·ing.
  1. to mislead or falsely persuade others; practice deceit:

    an engaging manner that easily deceives.


/ dɪˈsiːv /


  1. to mislead by deliberate misrepresentation or lies
  2. to delude (oneself)
  3. to be unfaithful to (one's sexual partner)
  4. archaic.
    to disappoint

    his hopes were deceived

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Derived Forms

  • deˈceivingly, adverb
  • deˈceiver, noun
  • deˈceiving, nounadjective
  • deˈceivableness, noun
  • deˈceivable, adjective
  • deˈceivably, adverb

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Other Words From

  • de·ceiv·a·ble·ness de·ceiv·a·bil·i·ty [dih-see-v, uh, -, bil, -i-tee], noun
  • de·ceiv·a·bly adverb
  • de·ceiv·er noun
  • de·ceiv·ing·ly adverb
  • in·ter·de·ceive verb interdeceived interdeceiving
  • non·de·ceiv·ing adjective
  • pre·de·ceive verb (used with object) predeceived predeceiving
  • re·de·ceive verb (used with object) redeceived redeceiving
  • well-de·ceived adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of deceive1

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English deceiven, from Old French deceivre, from Latin dēcipere, literally, “to ensnare,” equivalent to dē- de- + -cipere, combining form of capere “to take”

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Word History and Origins

Origin of deceive1

C13: from Old French deceivre, from Latin dēcipere to ensnare, cheat, from capere to take

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Synonym Study

See cheat.

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Example Sentences

Well, when it comes to jobs reports in this pandemic, looks can be deceiving.

Apple is also accused of deceiving consumers about the headphones’ durability and sweat-resistance.

From Fortune

Well, as far as we can tell, the earliest meaning of bamboozle was "to deceive by trickery, hoodwink," which is why some believe that it arose among the criminals of the underworld.

The most serious allegation in the report suggests district administrators deceived a credit rating agency before issuing millions of dollars of bonds in 2018.

The most damning section of the audit suggests that district administrators knowingly deceived a credit rating agency just before they issued millions of dollars in bonds.

He's polite and amusing, inventing comic voices to deceive friends.

What: Your eyes do not deceive you: Fishman is looking into more than one thing.

When we meet thus, when we do honor to the dead in terms that must sometimes embrace the living, we do not deceive ourselves.

If you deceive your children about Santa, you may give them a more thrilling experience of Christmas.

Then again … as I said, for a forgery to deceive at all, it has to preserve a great many features of a genuine object.

However this be, it is hard to say that these fibs have that clear intention to deceive which constitutes a complete lie.

There, if his eyes did not deceive him, were evidences of mortar dislodged by nefarious toes.

It was not possible to deceive himself an instant longer, for the naked truth lay staring into his eyes.

O my people, they that call thee blessed, the same deceive thee, and destroy the way of thy steps.

Only I fear they will not profit us much; for if my eyes deceive me not, both are already captured.


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More About Deceive

What does deceive mean?

Deceive means to lie, mislead, or otherwise hide or distort the truth.

The act or practice of deceiving can be called deceit or deception.

Lying is only one way of deceiving. Deceiving can consist of misrepresenting or omitting the truth or more complicated cover-ups. People can even deceive themselves by avoiding the truth.

The adjectives deceptive and deceitful can describe something that deceives or is intended to deceive. Someone who is known for deceiving others can be described as deceitful. Someone who is easily deceived can be described as deceivable.

Sometimes, the word deceive can be used in the context of things that are naturally or innocently misleading to one’s perception (without someone doing the deceiving), as in Do my eyes deceive me? The adjective deceiving can be used in this sense, as in Looks can be deceiving.

Example: A lot of advertising is intended to deceive us into thinking we need something.

Where does deceive come from?

The first records of the word deceive come from the 1200s. It comes from the Old French verb deceivre and ultimately derives from the Latin verb dēcipere, meaning “to ensnare” (in the literal sense of trapping someone or an animal).

Deceiving can include attempts to mislead or trick someone or trap them with a deceptive scheme. Deceiving someone may not involve outright lying to them. Some forms of deception involve concealing the truth or simply omitting the truth.

The poem Marmion by Scottish poet Sir Walter Scott contains a famous line (often mistakenly attributed to Shakespeare) that uses the word deceive: “Oh, what a tangled web we weave,/ When first we practise to deceive!” This means that lying and deceiving people makes things really complicated—one lie often leads to a web of others.

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What are some other forms related to deceive?

  • deceiving (continuous tense verb, adjective)
  • deceiver (noun)
  • deceivable (adjective)

What are some synonyms for deceive?

What are some words that share a root or word element with deceive

What are some words that often get used in discussing deceive?

How is deceive used in real life?

Deceive most commonly implies that the deception was intentional. For this reason, it is usually used negatively, especially to criticize those doing the deceiving.


Try using deceive!

Which of the following words is a synonym of deceive?

A. mislead
B. dupe
C. delude
D. all of the above