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
  1. verb
    deprive of by deceit
    “He swindled me out of my inheritance”
    synonyms: bunco, con, defraud, diddle, gip, goldbrick, gyp, hornswoggle, mulct, nobble, rook, scam, short-change, victimize
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    short, short-change
    cheat someone by not returning him enough money
    type of:
    cheat, chisel, rip off
    deprive somebody of something by deceit
  2. noun
    the act of swindling by some fraudulent scheme
    synonyms: cheat, rig
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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)
    the practice of sending deceptive emails to trick internet users into revealing confidential or personal information
    type of:
    intentional deception resulting in injury to another person
Word Family

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