Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To cheat or defraud of money or property.
  • transitive v. To obtain by fraudulent means: swindled money from the company.
  • intransitive v. To practice fraud as a means of obtaining money or property.
  • n. The act or an instance of swindling.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. to defraud (someone)
  • v. to obtain money or property by fraudulent or deceitful methods
  • n. an instance of swindling

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act or process of swindling; a cheat.
  • transitive v. To cheat defraud grossly, or with deliberate artifice.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To cheat or defraud. The word implies, commonly, recourse to petty and mean artifices for obtaining money which may or may not be strictly illegal.
  • n. The act or process of swindling; a fraudulent scheme; an act of cheating; an imposition; a fraud.
  • n. Anything that is deceptive or not what it is said or thought to be.

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

  • n. the act of swindling by some fraudulent scheme
  • v. deprive of by deceit

Etymologies

Back-formation from swindler, one who swindles, from German Schwindler, giddy person, cheat, from schwindeln, to be dizzy, swindle, from Middle High German, from Old High German swintilōn, frequentative of swintan, to disappear.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle High German, from Old High German swintiln, frequentative of the verb swintan, compare Modern German schwindeln. (Wiktionary)

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