Other forms: hoaxes; hoaxed; hoaxing

If you put on big fake feet, stomp through your muddy backyard and tell everyone you saw Bigfoot fixing a steak on your grill, you are playing a hoax on your friends.

Hoax is believed to be a shortened version of hocus pocus, thus conveying the feeling of trickery and sleight of hand. April First, also known as April Fools' Day, is a day of hoaxes. Successful hoaxes in history: Orson Welles' War-of-the-Worlds radio broadcast in 1938 and the alien autopsy film footage made public in the 1990s. Do you believe the American moon landing in 1969 was a hoax? You're not alone. Six percent of Americans believe this event was staged.

Definitions of hoax
  1. noun
    something intended to deceive; deliberate trickery intended to gain an advantage
    synonyms: dupery, fraud, fraudulence, humbug, put-on
    see moresee less
    anything that is supposed to be valuable but turns out to be worthless
    type of:
    chicane, chicanery, guile, shenanigan, trickery, wile
    the use of tricks to deceive someone (usually to extract money from them)
  2. verb
    subject to a playful hoax or joke
    synonyms: play a joke on, pull someone's leg
    see moresee less
    type of:
    cozen, deceive, delude, lead on
    be false to; be dishonest with




Cite this entry
  • MLA
  • APA
  • Chicago

Copy citation
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘hoax'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
Word Family

Look up hoax for the last time

Close your vocabulary gaps with personalized learning that focuses on teaching the words you need to know.

VocabTrainer -'s Vocabulary Trainer