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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce deceive (audio)

Dictionary definition of deceive

To intentionally mislead or trick someone with the purpose of causing them to believe something that is not true or accurate.
"The con artist was an expert at using charm to deceive his victims."

Detailed meaning of deceive

When a person deceives another, they employ various methods, such as false information, manipulation, or concealment of the truth, in order to create a false perception or understanding. Deception often involves deliberate dishonesty, and it can be used for personal gain, to avoid punishment, or to manipulate others for one's own advantage. Deceiving someone undermines trust and can have significant consequences on relationships, business transactions, and even legal matters. It is an action that relies on the exploitation of another person's vulnerability or lack of awareness in order to achieve the deceiver's desired outcome.

Example sentences containing deceive

1. He tried to deceive his parents by saying he had completed his homework.
2. The magician's tricks are meant to deceive the audience into believing he has supernatural powers.
3. She realized that her best friend did nothing but deceive her for years.
4. The spy used a fake identity to deceive the enemy agents.
5. It is shameful to deceive innocent people for personal gain.
6. By using clever marketing tactics, the company managed to deceive many consumers.

History and etymology of deceive

The verb 'deceive' has its etymological roots in Old English. It is derived from the Old English word 'dǣfan,' which meant 'to deceive' or 'to cheat.' This term is believed to be related to the Old Norse word 'dāfa,' which also means 'to deceive.' Over time, 'deceive' has maintained its core meaning of intentionally misleading or tricking someone with the purpose of causing them to believe something that is not true or accurate. The etymology of 'deceive' reflects its historical association with the act of deception and trickery, emphasizing its role in describing actions where individuals intentionally mislead others for various motives, often with the aim of gaining an advantage or concealing the truth.

Quiz: Find the meaning of deceive

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Further usage examples of deceive

1. If you deceive someone, sooner or later the truth will come out.
2. Her tears were genuine, and she had no intention to deceive anyone with her emotions.
3. The old map was so inaccurate that it seemed to deceive rather than guide.
4. They created an elaborate hoax to deceive the media.
5. You should never deceive yourself into thinking that bad actions have no consequences.
6. She tried to deceive me, but I saw through her lies.
7. Deceptive advertising can deceive consumers into buying products.
8. He used his charm to deceive people into trusting him.
9. Don't let appearances deceive you; things are not always as they seem.
10. The magician's illusions can deceive even the keenest observers.
11. Her intentions were to deceive, not to be honest.
12. The con artist managed to deceive dozens of unsuspecting victims.
13. His smile could deceive anyone into thinking he was friendly.
14. The elaborate ruse was meant to deceive the enemy.
15. Trust is fragile; once broken, it's hard to rebuild after being deceived.
16. Her words were crafted to deceive and manipulate.
17. The elaborate disguise was designed to deceive onlookers.
18. The fake documents were used to deceive authorities.
19. Appearances can deceive; always verify the facts.
20. The email was a phishing attempt to deceive users into revealing passwords.
21. Deception is not a sustainable way to maintain relationships.
22. Don't be easily deceived by empty promises.
23. The cunning plan aimed to deceive their adversaries.
24. His actions were meant to deceive, not to reveal the truth.
25. Deceiving others may bring short-term gains but long-term losses.



mislead, enlighten, inform, clarify


TOEFL 6, Guile and Duplicity, Deception and Trickery

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