- Deceive is defined as to make someone believe something that isn't true.
An example of deceive is a parent telling their child there is a tooth fairy.
transitive verbdeceived, deceiving
- to make (a person) believe what is not true; delude; mislead
- Archaic to be false to; betray
- Archaic to while away (time)
Origin of deceiveMiddle English deceiven ; from Old French deceveir ; from Classical Latin decipere, to ensnare, deceive ; from de-, from + capere, to take: see have
verbde·ceived, de·ceiv·ing, de·ceives
- To cause to believe what is not true; mislead.
- Archaic To catch by guile; ensnare.
- To practice deceit.
- To give a false impression: appearances can deceive.
Origin of deceiveMiddle English deceiven, from Old French deceveir, from Vulgar Latin *dēcipēre, from Latin dēcipere, to ensnare, deceive : dē-, de- + capere, to seize; see kap- in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present deceives, present participle deceiving, simple past and past participle deceived)