Definition of hoax in English:
- But no accident was discovered and police are treating the incident as a malicious hoax call.
- They organised elaborate hoaxes like the bestowing of imaginary honours, which he appears to have accepted with due solemnity.
- As I speculated before, it could be that he is the victim of an elaborate hoax.
verb[with object] Back to top
- I now have reason to believe that in unraveling a hoax I was hoaxed myself.
- James also investigated the case and found that Tina was hoaxing her adoptive parents and using the media attention to assist her quest to find her biological parents.
- No amount of fossil data will induce them to admit they are hoaxing their readers.
late 18th century (as a verb): probably a contraction of hocus.
hanky-panky from (mid 19th century):
People have been talking in disapproving terms of hanky-panky since the 1830s. Then it tended to mean ‘trickery’ or ‘dishonest behaviour’, whereas since the 1930s it has mainly referred to sexual indiscretions. The word is possibly an alteration of hocus-pocus, which was said by conjurors as they performed their tricks, rather like ‘abracadabra!’. This appeared in the early 17th century based on a pseudo-Latin phrase hax pax max Deus adimax used by conjurors as a magic formula. Hoax (late 18th century) may be a shortening of hocus-pocus.
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