Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “deceive”


verb [I or T]     /dɪˈsiːv/
to use dishonest or illegal methods to get something or to make people believe that something is true when it is not: These were fraudulent transactions aimed at deceiving creditors and investors.intention/intent to deceive A spokesman for the bank maintained that there had been no intent to deceive.
flatter to deceive to seem better than it actually is: The FTSE-100 flattered to deceive, as it broke through the 5000 barrier only to fall back again.
(Definition of deceive verb from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of deceive

Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Refusing & rejecting, but you might be interested in these topics from the Expressing opposition & disapproval topic area:

Definitions of “deceive” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day


a document given to students or reporters which contains information about a particular subject

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More