- a confidence game or other fraudulent scheme, especially for making a quick profit; swindle.
- to cheat or defraud with a scam.
Origin of scam
1960–65; orig. carnival argot; of obscure origin
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Related Words for scammerforger, rascal, thief, crook, cheater, counterfeiter, charlatan, swindler, hustler, rogue, hypocrite, trickster, impostor, chiseler, mouthpiece, scammer, pettifogger, clip, cheat, operator
- slang a person who perpetrates a scam; swindler
- a stratagem for gain; a swindle
- (tr) to swindle (someone) by means of a trick
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
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.)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper