Definition of swindle in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈswɪnd(ə)l/


[with object]
1Use deception to deprive (someone) of money or possessions: a businessman swindled investors out of millions of pounds
More example sentences
  • The so-called ‘phishing’ scams have developed as a popular technique for fraudsters to swindle people out of everything from PayPal accounts to ATM codes.
  • In 1989 he pleaded guilty to 55 counts of fraud, allegedly swindling elderly victims in Virginia and Tennessee out of around $1.25 million.
  • Then we hear about widespread accounting malpractices, even in giant corporations, and start to wonder if this is not a huge conspiracy to swindle us out of our money.
1.1Obtain (money) fraudulently: he was said to have swindled £62.5 million from the state-owned cement industry
More example sentences
  • In 2001, a few newspapers carried stories on local securities firms swindling money from investors but soon all fell silent.
  • He allegedly swindled funds meant for building a culvert and a school.
  • Police in Shanghai have cracked a gang of four who swindled money using short messaging service on cell phones.
defraud, cheat, trick, fleece, dupe, deceive, rook, exploit, squeeze, milk, bleed;
fool, take advantage of, mislead, delude, hoax, hoodwink, bamboozle, string along;
informal do, con, sting, diddle, fiddle, swizzle, swizz, rip off, take for a ride, pull a fast one on, pull the wool over someone's eyes, put one over on, sell a pup to, take to the cleaners, bilk, gull, finagle, gazump
North American informal stiff, euchre, bunco, hornswoggle
archaic cozen, sharp
rare mulct


A fraudulent scheme or action: he is mixed up in a £10 million insurance swindle
More example sentences
  • Online crimes can include multimillion-dollar swindles, online auction scams, and piracy of software and other copyrighted material.
  • It is a sales gimmick, a cheat, a swindle, a scam.
  • It's a total scam, swindle, and fake, but no one in our consumer agencies has any intention of doing anything about it.
fraud, trick, deception, deceit, trickery, chicanery, exploitation, cheat, imposture, sham, sharp practice, artifice;
ruse, dodge, racket, wile
informal con trick, con, sting, diddle, rip-off, fiddle, flimflam, swizzle, swizz
North American informal bunco



Pronunciation: /ˈswɪndlə/
Example sentences
  • What's the appeal to you of property criminals such as hucksters, card cheats, swindlers, bank robbers, and con men?
  • Not even the police care too much about what's going on in these streets’ the old man chuckled, ‘this is where all the swindlers and thieves hang out.’
  • Unfortunately, swindlers also exploited the tragedy to make money over the Internet.
fraudster, fraud, confidence trickster, confidence man, cheat, trickster, rogue, mountebank, exploiter, pretender, charlatan, sham, impostor, hoaxer, embezzler
informal con man, con artist, shark, sharp, hustler, bilker, flimflam man, phoney, chiseller, crook, quack, bunco artist


Late 18th century: back-formation from swindler, from German Schwindler 'extravagant maker of schemes, swindler', from schwindeln 'be giddy', also 'tell lies'.

Words that rhyme with swindle

brindle, dwindle, kindle, spindle, Tyndale

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: swin¦dle

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