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verb (used with object)
  1. to deprive of a right, money, or property by fraud: Dishonest employees defrauded the firm of millions of dollars.
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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

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bilk, swindle, fleece, rip off, gyp, rook, cheat.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for defraud

fleece, victimize, rob, dupe, deceive, embezzle, con, circumvent, swindle, pilfer, hoax, clip, stick, do, burn, milk, foil, outwit, shaft, trick

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Historical Examples of defraud

British Dictionary definitions for defraud


  1. (tr) to take away or withhold money, rights, property, etc, from (a person) by fraud; cheat; swindle
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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper