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  1. something intended to deceive or defraud: The Piltdown man was a scientific hoax.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to deceive by a hoax; hoodwink.
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Origin of hoax

First recorded in 1790–1800; perhaps contraction of hocus
Related formshoax·er, nounun·hoaxed, adjective

Synonyms for hoax

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for hoax

fool, dupe, fleece, rook, deceive, frame, gull, hoodwink, con, flimflam, sting, bluff, swindle, bamboozle, delude, chicane, murphy, gammon

Examples from the Web for hoax

Contemporary Examples of hoax

Historical Examples of hoax

British Dictionary definitions for hoax


  1. a deception, esp a practical joke
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  1. (tr) to deceive or play a joke on (someone)
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Derived Formshoaxer, noun

Word Origin for hoax

C18: probably from hocus
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 hoax

1796 (v.), 1808 (n.), probably an alteration of hocus "conjurer, juggler" (1630s), or directly from hocus-pocus. Related: Hoaxed; hoaxing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper