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

  • n. A deception deliberately practiced in order to secure unfair or unlawful gain.
  • n. A piece of trickery; a trick.
  • n. One that defrauds; a cheat.
  • n. One who assumes a false pose; an impostor.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any act of deception carried out for the purpose of unfair, undeserved and/or unlawful gain.
  • n. The assumption of a false identity to such deceptive end.
  • n. A person who performs any such trick.
  • v. To defraud

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Deception deliberately practiced with a view to gaining an unlawful or unfair advantage; artifice by which the right or interest of another is injured; injurious stratagem; deceit; trick.
  • n. An intentional perversion of truth for the purpose of obtaining some valuable thing or promise from another.
  • n. A trap or snare.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To cheat; defraud.
  • n. An act or course of deception deliberately practised with the view of gaining a wrong or unfair advantage; deceit; trick; an artifice by which the right or interest of another is injured.
  • n. Specifically, in law, an artifice employed by one person for the purpose of deceiving another, to the prejudice of his right; the causing or making use of the error of another for the attainment of an illegal object.
  • n. A position artfully contrived to work damage or prejudice; a snare.
  • n. A deceiver; a cheat; a pretender; also, a fraudulent production; something intended to deceive.
  • n. A person who talks piously, but is not pious at heart; a religious humbug.

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

  • n. a person who makes deceitful pretenses
  • n. intentional deception resulting in injury to another person
  • n. something intended to deceive; deliberate trickery intended to gain an advantage


Middle English fraude, from Old French, from Latin fraus, fraud-.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Recorded since 1345, from Old French fraude, from Latin frausĀ ("deceit, injury, offence"). (Wiktionary)


  • The phrase "fraud as a business model" comes from a comment referenced in the presentation made by Richard Cordray, then the Attorney General of Ohio and the current Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, when he discussed foreclosure fraud.

    Janet Tavakoli: "Fraud As a Business Model"

  • In partisan Republican circles, the pursuit of voter fraud is code for suppressing the votes of minorities and poor people.

    Archive 2007-03-01

  • "In partisan Republican circles, the pursuit of voter fraud is code for suppressing the votes of minorities and poor people."

    Archive 2007-03-01

  • Earlier today, Zellweger said she had to clarify, saying, "The term fraud is simply legal language and not a reflection of Kenny ` s character."

    CNN Transcript Sep 16, 2005

  • After the 2000 election, if not before, Karl Rove and other Republican operatives decided that Republican political prospects would be immeasurably improved if they would only repeat, as often as possible, the unsupported claim that voter fraud is rampant, and take substantial steps to stem such nonexistent voter "fraud" -- all in an attempt to suppress Democratic votes.


  • DAN LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right and you know some people that the president really was sending mixed messages here, that he really had the opportunity to go out there and veto this bill, take a stand against what he called fraud, waste and abuse but he didn't.

    CNN Transcript Mar 11, 2009

  • That's what the Senate Finance Committee is doing right now, and their search has led them to what they call a fraud riddled bank, which belonged to bin Laden, but was shut down 10 years ago.

    CNN Transcript Sep 27, 2001

  • When we do, we will see what it entails and whether or not it refutes many of the allegations included in last week's motion from the defense, among them the defense claiming that the government was perpetrating what they call a fraud against the court by withholding so many documents and just, in their view, releasing them recently, and in their view also, still having some documents yet to be released.

    CNN Transcript Jun 4, 2001

  • WOODRUFF: Well, aside from the specifics of this case, let me just ask you this: His attorneys are talking about what they call a fraud upon the court.

    CNN Transcript May 31, 2001

  • And again, Timothy McVeigh's attorneys apparently alleging that there has been what they call a fraud upon the court, and therefore this case is wide open once again.

    CNN Transcript May 31, 2001


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