To cheat is to use sneaky, unfair methods to get something you want. No one's going to want to play with you if you always cheat at mini golf.

Some people cheat at cards, and others cheat during math tests by copying from the student beside them. In either case, they're trying to succeed using underhanded tricks. You can refer to someone who does this as a cheat as well. Cheat comes from the Old French escheat, a legal term for the state taking someone's property when he or she dies without heirs. This practice was resented, and it came to mean "confiscate unfairly."

Primary Meanings of cheat

defeat someone through trickery or deceit
the act of swindling by some fraudulent scheme
weedy annual grass often occurs in grainfields and other cultivated land; seeds sometimes considered poisonous
Full Definitions of cheat

v defeat someone through trickery or deceit

chicane, chouse, jockey, screw, shaft
Type of:
beat, beat out, crush, shell, trounce, vanquish
come out better in a competition, race, or conflict

v deprive somebody of something by deceit

“we were cheated by their clever-sounding scheme”
chisel, rip off
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raise the price of something after agreeing on a lower price
cheat or trick
fleece, gazump, hook, overcharge, pluck, plume, rob, soak, surcharge
rip off; ask an unreasonable price
bunco, con, defraud, diddle, gip, goldbrick, gyp, hornswoggle, mulct, nobble, rook, scam, short-change, swindle, victimize
deprive of by deceit
cheat somebody out of what is due, especially money
beat, bunk
avoid paying
victimize, especially in gambling or negotiations
welch, welsh
cheat by avoiding payment of a gambling debt
beguile, hoodwink, juggle
influence by slyness
extort, gouge, rack, squeeze, wring
obtain by coercion or intimidation
short, short-change
cheat someone by not returning him enough money
Type of:
victimise, victimize
make a victim of

v engage in deceitful behavior; practice trickery or fraud

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profit privately from public office and official business
play the shark; act with trickery
rig, set up
arrange the outcome of by means of deceit
act with artful deceit
use a crib, as in an exam
cook, fake, falsify, fudge, manipulate, misrepresent, wangle
tamper, with the purpose of deception
manipulate by or as if by moving around components
Type of:
cozen, deceive, delude, lead on
be false to; be dishonest with

v be sexually unfaithful to one's partner in marriage

“She cheats on her husband”
betray, cheat on, cuckold, wander
carry on a romantic relationship with two people at the same time
fool around, play around
commit adultery
Type of:
cozen, deceive, delude, lead on
be false to; be dishonest with

n the act of swindling by some fraudulent scheme

rig, swindle
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cozenage, scam
a fraudulent business scheme
bunco, bunco game, bunko, bunko game, con, con game, confidence game, confidence trick, flimflam, gyp, hustle, sting
a swindle in which you cheat at gambling or persuade a person to buy worthless property
a fraudulent business practice involving some form of pyramid scheme e.g., the chain of distribution is artificially expanded by an excessive number of distributors selling to other distributors at progressively higher wholesale prices until retail prices are unnecessarily inflated
the act of hiding playing cards in a gambling game so they are available for personal use later
British slang for a swindle
shell game, thimblerig
a swindling sleight-of-hand game; victim guesses which of three things a pellet is under
sting operation
a complicated confidence game planned and executed with great care (especially an operation implemented by undercover agents to apprehend criminals)
Type of:
intentional deception resulting in injury to another person

n a deception for profit to yourself

an act of gerrymandering (dividing a voting area so as to give your own party an unfair advantage)
Type of:
deceit, deception, dissembling, dissimulation
the act of deceiving

n someone who leads you to believe something that is not true

beguiler, cheater, deceiver, slicker, trickster
a habitual liar (after a New Testament character who was struck dead for lying)
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bluffer, four-flusher
a person who tries to bluff other people
chiseler, chiseller, defrauder, gouger, grifter, scammer, swindler
a person who swindles you by means of deception or fraud
decoy, steerer
a beguiler who leads someone into danger (usually as part of a plot)
dodger, fox, slyboots
a shifty deceptive person
betrayer, double-crosser, double-dealer, traitor, two-timer
a person who says one thing and does another
defalcator, embezzler, peculator
someone who violates a trust by taking (money) for his own use
someone who falsifies
finagler, wangler
a deceiver who uses crafty misleading methods
counterfeiter, forger
someone who makes copies illegally
fortune hunter
a person who seeks wealth through marriage
figurehead, front, front man, nominal head, straw man, strawman
a person used as a cover for some questionable activity
dissembler, dissimulator, hypocrite, phoney, phony, pretender
a person who professes beliefs and opinions that he or she does not hold in order to conceal his or her real feelings or motives
imitator, impersonator
someone who (fraudulently) assumes the appearance of another
fake, faker, fraud, imposter, impostor, pretender, pseud, pseudo, role player, sham, shammer
a person who makes deceitful pretenses
liar, prevaricator
a person who has lied or who lies repeatedly
someone who leads astray (often deliberately)
charlatan, mountebank
a flamboyant deceiver; one who attracts customers with tricks or jokes
a person who is deliberately vague
someone who deceives you about his true nature or intent in order to take advantage of you
someone who deceives a lover or spouse by carrying on a sexual relationship with somebody else
someone who circulates forged banknotes or counterfeit coins
card shark, card sharp, card sharper, cardsharp, cardsharper, sharper, sharpie, sharpy
a professional card player who makes a living by cheating at card games
clip artist
a swindler who fleeces the victim
a maker of counterfeit coins
con artist, con man, confidence man
a swindler who exploits the confidence of his victim
someone who betrays under the guise of friendship
mimic, mimicker
someone who mimics (especially an actor or actress)
name dropper
someone who pretends that famous people are his/her friends
someone who passes bad checks or counterfeit paper money
false witness, perjurer
a person who deliberately gives false testimony
craniologist, phrenologist
someone who claims to be able to read your character from the shape of your skull
an untrained person who pretends to be a physician and who dispenses medical advice
a contestant entered in a competition under false pretenses
a decoy who lures customers into a gambling establishment (especially one with a fixed game)
a decoy who acts as an enthusiastic customer in order to stimulate the participation of others
charmer, smoothie, smoothy, sweet talker
someone with an assured and ingratiating manner
fabricator, fibber, storyteller
someone who tells lies
Tartufe, Tartuffe
a hypocrite who pretends to religious piety (after the protagonist in a play by Moliere)
welcher, welsher
someone who swindles you by not repaying a debt or wager
whited sepulcher, whited sepulchre
a person who is inwardly evil but outwardly professes to be virtuous
Type of:
offender, wrongdoer
a person who transgresses moral or civil law

n weedy annual grass often occurs in grainfields and other cultivated land; seeds sometimes considered poisonous

Lolium temulentum, bearded darnel, darnel, tare
Type of:
rye grass, ryegrass
any of several annual or perennial Eurasian grasses

n weedy annual native to Europe but widely distributed as a weed especially in wheat

Bromus secalinus, chess
Type of:
brome, bromegrass
any of various woodland and meadow grasses of the genus Bromus; native to temperate regions

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