[ dih-sep-tiv ]
/ dɪˈsɛp tɪv /


apt or tending to deceive: The enemy's peaceful overtures may be deceptive.
perceptually misleading: It looks like a curved line, but it's deceptive.

Nearby words

  1. decentralized processing,
  2. decentre,
  3. deception,
  4. deception bed,
  5. deception table,
  6. deceptive cadence,
  7. deceptively,
  8. decerebrate,
  9. decerebration,
  10. decern

Origin of deceptive

1605–15; < Medieval Latin dēceptīvus, equivalent to Latin dēcept(us) (see deception) + -īvus -ive

Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for deceptive

British Dictionary definitions for deceptive


/ (dɪˈsɛptɪv) /


likely or designed to deceive; misleadingappearances can be deceptive
music (of a cadence) another word for interrupted (def. 3)
Derived Formsdeceptively, adverbdeceptiveness, noun

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

Word Origin and History for deceptive



1610s, from French deceptif (late 14c.), from Medieval Latin deceptivus, from decept-, past participle stem of Latin decipere (see deceive). Earlier in this sense was deceptious (c.1600), from French deceptieux, from Medieval Latin deceptiosus, from deceptionem. Related: Deceptively; deceptiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper