Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The act or practice of deceiving; deception.
  • n. A stratagem; a trick.
  • n. The quality of being deceitful; falseness.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An act or practice intended to deceive; a trick
  • n. An act of deceiving someone
  • n. The state of being deceitful or deceptive
  • n. The tort or fraudulent representation of a material fact made with knowledge of its falsity, or recklessly, or without reasonable grounds for believing its truth and with intent to induce reliance on it; the plaintiff justifiably relies on the deception, to his injury.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An attempt or disposition to deceive or lead into error; any declaration, artifice, or practice, which misleads another, or causes him to believe what is false; a contrivance to entrap; deception; a wily device; fraud.
  • n. Any trick, collusion, contrivance, false representation, or underhand practice, used to defraud another. When injury is thereby effected, an action of deceit, as it called, lies for compensation.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The quality of being false or misleading; falseness; falsehood; deception; deceptiveness.
  • n. The act or practice of deceiving; concealment or perversion of the truth for the purpose of misleading; fraud; cheating.
  • n. That which deceives; action or speech designed to mislead or beguile; a guileful artifice.
  • n. In law, any trick, device, craft, collusion, false representation, or underhand practice, used to defraud another: now more commonly called fraud or misrepresentation.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a misleading falsehood
  • n. the act of deceiving
  • n. the quality of being fraudulent

Etymologies

Middle English deceite, from Old French, from past participle of deceveir, to deceive; see deceive.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

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