Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To cause to believe what is not true; mislead.
  • transitive v. Archaic To catch by guile; ensnare.
  • intransitive v. To practice deceit.
  • intransitive v. To give a false impression: appearances can deceive.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To trick or mislead.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To lead into error; to cause to believe what is false, or disbelieve what is true; to impose upon; to mislead; to cheat; to disappoint; to delude; to insnare.
  • transitive v. To beguile; to amuse, so as to divert the attention; to while away; to take away as if by deception.
  • transitive v. To deprive by fraud or stealth; to defraud.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To mislead by a false appearance or statement; cause to believe what is false, or to disbelieve what is true; delude.
  • To cause to fail in fulfilment or realization; frustrate or disappoint.
  • . To take from; rob stealthily.
  • To cause to pass; while away.
  • Synonyms To beguile, cheat, overreach, circumvent, dupe, fool, gull, cozen, hoodwink.
  • In fencing, to evade, as an attack or parry, thus causing an opponent to lose the contact or feel of one's foil.

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

  • v. cause someone to believe an untruth
  • v. be false to; be dishonest with

Etymologies

Middle English deceiven, from Old French deceveir, from Vulgar Latin *dēcipēre, from Latin dēcipere, to ensnare, deceive : dē-, de- + capere, to seize; see kap- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English deceyven, from Old French deceivre (Modern French décevoir), from Latin decipere ("to deceive, beguile, entrap"), from de- ("from") + capere ("to seize"); see captive. Compare conceive, perceive, receive. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I myself am very fond of the plain cheese pizza, but don't let the name deceive you.

    Constant Cravings

  • Appearances, however, which have been deceptive before, may again deceive; and the history of nations teams with proofs that when once they have overstepped the bounds of reason, albeit with the purpose of returning when their ends shall have been accomplished, the very events which their own passion has produced frequently raise a barrier against their retreat, and nulla vestigia retrorsum becomes their doom.

    The Secession Movement in America

  • Sinners herein deceive themselves, for, though the sentence be not executed speedily, it will be executed the more severely at last.

    Commentary on the Whole Bible Volume III (Job to Song of Solomon)

  • (don't let the name deceive you, it just monitors bandwidth of your phone's data connection, regardless of the way it connects, be it HSDPA, 3G, GPRS etc).

    Original Signal - Transmitting Gadgets

  • h. 264, "Ipod video" (. m4v): Don't let the name deceive you!

    VideoHelp.com Forum

  • Baltar’s ability to deceive is clearly second-nature, do we really want to find out what else he’s been hiding?

    BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: Ends on a Happy Note | the TV addict

  • Thomas Paine, during the Revolutionary War, argued in The Crisis that there are serious moments in the life of a country when "to deceive is to destroy; and it is of little consequence, in the conclusion, whether men deceive themselves, or submit, by a kind of mutual consent, to the impositions of each other."

    Tony Blankley: Afghan War Becoming a Bloody Farce

  • I made this cake about three weeks ago for no particular reason other than I wanted to make a plain 'homey' cake but don't let the simplicity of the name deceive you.

    Orange Sour Cream Bundt Cake

  • You can use eyeballs for many things but they often deceive, which is what this weblog is about.

    A few inconvenient truths « Climate Audit

  • ARI FLEISCHER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Sometimes one of the best ways to hide or to deceive is to come out with such a voluminous document that it makes people miss the things that aren't in there.

    CNN Transcript Dec 9, 2002

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