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pyramid scheme

[ pir-uh-mid skeem ]
/ ˈpɪr ə mɪd ˌskim /
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noun
any moneymaking scheme, usually illicit, in which each participating investor recruits others and then collects from what those invest, so that an ever-increasing number of participants generate more and more profit for those who recruited them:She invited me to talk about a new "business opportunity," and ended up trying aggressively to hook me into a pyramid scheme.
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Origin of pyramid scheme

First recorded in 1945–50
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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