verb (used with object)

to deprive of a right, money, or property by fraud: Dishonest employees defrauded the firm of millions of dollars.

Origin of defraud

1325–75; Middle English defrauden < Old French defrauder < Latin dēfraudāre, equivalent to dē- de- + fraudāre to cheat; see fraud
Related formsde·frau·da·tion [dee-fraw-dey-shuhn] /ˌdi frɔˈdeɪ ʃən/, de·fraud·ment, nounde·fraud·er, nounun·de·fraud·ed, adjective

Synonyms for defraud

bilk, swindle, fleece, rip off, gyp, rook, cheat. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for defraud

Contemporary Examples of defraud

  • After all, if a broker defrauds sophisticated investors, it might also defraud unsophisticated investors.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The SEC's Dangerous Gamble

    Harvey Pitt

    April 20, 2010

  • To be frank, I seriously doubt if Madoff set out, with malice aforethought, to defraud anyone.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Why Bernie Did It

    Mansfield Frazier

    December 22, 2008

Historical Examples of defraud

British Dictionary definitions for defraud



(tr) to take away or withhold money, rights, property, etc, from (a person) by fraud; cheat; swindle
Derived Formsdefraudation (ˌdiːfrɔːˈdeɪʃən) or defraudment, noundefrauder, 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 defraud

mid-14c., from Old French defrauder, from Latin defraudare "to defraud, cheat," from de- "thoroughly" (see de-) + fraudare (see fraud). Related: Defrauded; defrauding.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper