To defraud is to con someone out of money. Defrauding is a sneaky crime.

If you know that a fraud is some kind of a scam, then you're on the way to understanding what defraud means. If someone defrauds you, they are cheating you out of money. Ponzi schemes—also known as pyramid schemes—are a type of defrauding. A guy trying to sell you a bridge is a type of defrauding, as is a foreign prince asking for money via email. Be wary!

Definitions of defraud
  1. verb
    (offensive) deprive of by deceit
    “She defrauded the customers who trusted her”
    synonyms: bunco, con, diddle, gip, goldbrick, hornswoggle, mulct, nobble, rook, scam, short-change, swindle, victimize
    see moresee less
    short, short-change
    cheat someone by not returning him enough money
    type of:
    cheat, chisel, rip off
    deprive somebody of something by deceit
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week