[ dih-seev ]
/ d瑟藞siv /
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See synonyms for: deceive / deceived / deceives / deceiving on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object), de路ceived, de路ceiv路ing.
to mislead by a false appearance or statement; delude: They deceived the enemy by disguising the destroyer as a freighter.
to be unfaithful to (one's spouse or lover).
Archaic. to while away (time).
verb (used without object), de路ceived, de路ceiv路ing.
to mislead or falsely persuade others; practice deceit: an engaging manner that easily deceives.
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Origin of deceive

First recorded in 1250鈥1300; Middle English deceiven, from Old French deceivre, from Latin d膿cipere, literally, 鈥渢o ensnare,鈥 equivalent to d膿- de- + -cipere, combining form of capere 鈥渢o take鈥

synonym study for deceive

1. See cheat.


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 漏 Random House, Inc. 2023


What does聽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鈥檚 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聽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 d膿cipere, meaning 鈥渢o ensnare鈥 (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: 鈥淥h, what a tangled web we weave,/ When first we practise to deceive!鈥 This means that lying and deceiving people makes things really complicated鈥攐ne 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?聽

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

How is聽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聽deceive!

Which of the following words is a synonym of deceive?

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

How to use deceive in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for deceive

/ (d瑟藞si藧v) /

verb (tr)
to mislead by deliberate misrepresentation or lies
to delude (oneself)
to be unfaithful to (one's sexual partner)
archaic to disappointhis hopes were deceived

Derived forms of deceive

Word Origin for deceive

C13: from Old French deceivre, from Latin d膿cipere to ensnare, cheat, from capere to take
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition 漏 William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 漏 HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012