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.

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

Examples from the Web for deceptiveness

Contemporary Examples of deceptiveness

Historical Examples of deceptiveness

  • We have learnt to prize Him in proportion as we have learnt the deceptiveness of all beside!


    Clement Bailhache

  • He had moments through the night of recognizing the deceptiveness of his senses.

  • And then he laughed at the deceptiveness and the wild humor of his own speech.

    True and Other Stories

    George Parsons Lathrop

  • College mates of Taylor will recall the deceptiveness of this outward appearance.


    A. E. Winship

  • Moralizing on the deceptiveness of appearances, Crimmins fortified himself with another slab of cut-plug.

    Garrison's Finish

    W. B. M. Ferguson

British Dictionary definitions for deceptiveness



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 deceptiveness



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