To swindle is to cheat or steal. You can swindle money, goods, ideas, and anything else that can be stolen, but be careful, because someone can also swindle you.

In the late 1700s, the verb swindle formed from swindler, which means “giddy person, cheat.” Swindle can be a noun or a verb. When you get something by less than honest means, that’s a swindle. A successful act of swindle often involves some scheme or rigging of the system. Hollywood loves a good swindle — think of all the movies that show a bank robbery or people lying about who they are. Another funny word for swindle is bamboozle.

Definitions of swindle

v deprive of by deceit

“He swindled me out of my inheritance”
bunco, con, defraud, diddle, gip, goldbrick, gyp, hornswoggle, mulct, nobble, rook, scam, short-change, victimize
short, short-change
cheat someone by not returning him enough money
Type of:
cheat, chisel, rip off
deprive somebody of something by deceit

n the act of swindling by some fraudulent scheme

cheat, rig
show 7 types...
hide 7 types...
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

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