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
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    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
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    type of:
    cozen, deceive, delude, lead on
    be false to; be dishonest with
Word Family