something intended to deceive or defraud: The Piltdown man was a scientific hoax.

verb (used with object)

to deceive by a hoax; hoodwink.

Origin of hoax

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

Synonyms for hoax

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

Examples from the Web for hoaxer

Contemporary Examples of hoaxer

Historical Examples of hoaxer

  • And he gently pushed me toward the door, taking me for a hoaxer or a madman.

    Artists' Wives

    Alphonse Daudet

  • This, by the way, was a compromising statement on our hoaxer's part.

  • He received the thousand francs from Florentine and returned to bet on his hoaxer.

    A Start in Life

    Honore de Balzac

  • Your Parisian hoaxer likes a dash of Grand Guignol horrors in his jokelet.

    Swirling Waters

    Max Rittenberg

  • My chattering friend here occasionally asks them, and he is a hoaxer.


    James Huneker

British Dictionary definitions for hoaxer



a deception, esp a practical joke


(tr) to deceive or play a joke on (someone)
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 hoaxer


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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper