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.