• synonyms


  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


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

Related Words


Examples from the Web for hoaxing

Historical Examples

  • Williams looked at her doubtingly, and still feared she was hoaxing him.

    A Forest Hearth: A Romance of Indiana in the Thirties

    Charles Major

  • His friend watched the lips of the other passengers to see who was hoaxing them.

    Chicken Little Jane

    Lily Munsell Ritchie

  • It was the biggest hoax, the climax of the long course of hoaxing.

    War's Brighter Side

    Julian Ralph.

  • But we suspect that some one has been hoaxing you about the four Turkeys.

  • How could you be so wicked as to go on hoaxing her like that?

    Ayala's Angel

    Anthony Trollope

British Dictionary definitions for hoaxing


  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

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 hoaxing


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