See more synonyms for deceptive on
  1. apt or tending to deceive: The enemy's peaceful overtures may be deceptive.
  2. perceptually misleading: It looks like a curved line, but it's deceptive.

Origin of deceptive

1605–15; < Medieval Latin dēceptīvus, equivalent to Latin dēcept(us) (see deception) + -īvus -ive
Related formsde·cep·tive·ly, adverbde·cep·tive·ness, nounnon·de·cep·tive, adjectivenon·de·cep·tive·ly, adverbnon·de·cep·tive·ness, nounun·de·cep·tive, adjectiveun·de·cep·tive·ly, adverbun·de·cep·tive·ness, noun

Synonyms for deceptive

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for deceptively

Contemporary Examples of deceptively

Historical Examples of deceptively

  • It was a hellishly unbuildable and deceptively simple gadget, that tracer.

    Zero Data

    Charles Saphro

  • They chatted pleasantly and in a deceptively random manner for a while.

    Space Viking

    Henry Beam Piper

  • Trench War in its railway requirements was deceptively like peace.

    G. H. Q.

    Frank Fox

  • These little tech-hamlets down the 101 were deceptively utopian.


    Cory Doctorow

  • In the lamplight they were deceptively reminiscent of the eyes of a cat.

    The Gray Mask

    Wadsworth Camp

British Dictionary definitions for deceptively


  1. likely or designed to deceive; misleadingappearances can be deceptive
  2. 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 deceptively



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