• synonyms


[hawrn-swog-uh l]
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verb (used with object), horn·swog·gled, horn·swog·gling. Slang.
  1. to swindle, cheat, hoodwink, or hoax.
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Origin of hornswoggle

1815–25 origin uncertain
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

fool, dupe, snow, trick, deceive, bamboozle, swindle

Examples from the Web for hornswoggle

Historical Examples

  • The fellow I've been having so much fun with—the Nervy Matt that tried to hornswoggle me with my own photograph.

    Cappy Ricks

    Peter B. Kyne

British Dictionary definitions for hornswoggle


  1. (tr) slang to cheat or trick; bamboozle
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Word Origin

C19: of unknown origin
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 hornswoggle


"to cheat," 1829, probably a fanciful formation. Related: Hornswoggled; hornswoggling.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper