Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

Ponzi

[pon-zee]
noun
  1. a swindle in which a quick return, made up of money from new investors, on an initial investment lures the victim into much bigger risks.
Show More

Origin of Ponzi

after Charles Ponzi (died 1949), the organizer of such a scheme in the U.S., 1919–20
Also called Ponzi game, Ponzi scheme.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for ponzi scheme

Ponzi scheme

noun
  1. a fraudulent investment operation that pays quick returns to initial contributors using money from subsequent contributors rather than profit
Show More

Word Origin

After Charles Ponzi, who famously perpetrated such a scheme in the United States of America in the early 20th century
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 ponzi scheme

Ponzi scheme

investment scam by which early investors are paid off from the contributions of later ones, 1957, in reference to Charles Ponzi (1882-1949), who perpetrated such a scam in U.S., 1919-20.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper