Definition of cheat in English:


Syllabification: cheat
Pronunciation: /CHēt


1 [no object] Act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage, especially in a game or examination: she always cheats at cards
More example sentences
  • He has been painted by the Western press as a drunk, a psychotic, an unreconstructed Stalinist, and a guy who cheats at golf.
  • It's essentially telling them, either the state is over its head, or it simply is cheating and being dishonest.
  • And as long as the financial rewards for success are so lucrative there will always be an incentive to cheat in order to gain any advantage.
1.1 [with object] Deceive or trick: he had cheated her out of everything she had
More example sentences
  • The practice becomes illegal when done surreptitiously to cheat the consumer or defraud the taxman.
  • As a result, English-speakers say that to defraud, swindle, or cheat someone is to ‘gyp’ them.
  • In his role as Consumer Affairs minister, Mr Sutcliffe has to keep up to date with the ever-more ingenious methods criminals employ to cheat and defraud us.
informal rip off, con, fleece, shaft, hose, sting, bilk, diddle, rook, gyp, finagle, bamboozle, flimflam, put one over on, pull a fast one on, sucker, stiff, hornswoggle
formal mulct
literary cozen
1.2 informal Be sexually unfaithful: his wife was cheating on him
More example sentences
  • Of course, one of the women was also cheating on her lover with a man, which so infuriated her lover that it resulted in one woman killing the other in a jealous rage.
  • Another guy I know was cheating on his wife, but ultimately broke off the affair and went back to her.
  • Well, I found out his girlfriend's e-mail address, and under a false name I told her that her boyfriend had been cheating on her with me and a bunch of other girls.
commit adultery, be unfaithful, stray
informal two-time, play around
archaic cuckold
2 [with object] Avoid (something undesirable) by luck or skill: she cheated death in a spectacular crash
More example sentences
  • The 86-year-old had already cheated death several times.
  • But a Yorkshire honeymoon couple yesterday told how they cheated death - because they were too tired to go out after spending the day sightseeing.
  • A miracle baby who cheated death after being born four months early is today a ‘happy and healthy’ boy who has just celebrated his first birthday.
avoid, escape, evade, elude;
foil, frustrate, thwart
2.1 archaic Help (time) pass: the tuneless rhyme with which the warder cheats the time


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1A person who behaves dishonestly in order to gain an advantage: a liar and a cheat
More example sentences
  • Athletes who abide by the rules are up against cheats with a distinct advantage.
  • A benefits cheat who dishonestly claimed £22,000 while living a life of luxury said today that no amount of money could buy happiness.
  • An honest person will have friends who value honesty, and a dishonest one will have cheats as friends.
informal con man, con artist, scam artist, shark, sharper, phony, flimflammer, bunco artist
dated confidence man/woman
1.1An act of cheating; a fraud or deception.
More example sentences
  • Some casinos subscribe to the agency, which protects casinos from cheats and scams.
  • It is a sales gimmick, a cheat, a swindle, a scam.
  • The film has three slackers riding their way through college on scams, cheats and underhanded stunts.


late Middle English: shortening of escheat (the original sense).

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Word of the day retroflex
Pronunciation: ˈrɛtrə(ʊ)flɛks
turned backwards