• synonyms


See more synonyms for scam on Thesaurus.com
  1. a confidence game or other fraudulent scheme, especially for making a quick profit; swindle.
Show More
verb (used with object), scammed, scam·ming.
  1. to cheat or defraud with a scam.
Show More

Origin of scam

1960–65; orig. carnival argot; of obscure origin
Related formsscam·mer, noun
Can be confusedscam scan
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for scam

fraud, deception, blackmail, hoax, deceit, shakedown, racket, extortion, rip-off, sham, double-dealing, cheating, sting, flimflam, con, hustle, hosing, double-cross

Examples from the Web for scam

Contemporary Examples of scam

Historical Examples of scam

British Dictionary definitions for scam


  1. a stratagem for gain; a swindle
Show More
verb scams, scamming or scammed
  1. (tr) to swindle (someone) by means of a trick
Show More
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 scam

1963, noun and verb, U.S. slang, a carnival term, of unknown origin. Perhaps related to 19c. British slang scamp "cheater, swindler" (see scamp (n.)).

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper