deceit


deceit
deceit 1 Deceit, duplicity, dissimulation, cunning, guile mean the quality, the habit, the act, or the practice of imposing upon the credulity of others by dishonesty, fraud, or trickery.
Deceit usually implies the intent to mislead or delude; otherwise, it is the most comprehensive of these terms, for it may imply deliberate misrepresentation or falsification, the assumption of a false appearance, the use of fraud or trickery or craft
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the fox barks not when he would steal the lamb. No, no, my sovereign! Gloucester is a man unsounded yet and full of deep deceitShak.

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no! there my husband never used deceitBrowning

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there is an element of sham and deceit in every imitation— Dewey

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Duplicity com-monly implies double-dealing or bad faith; usually it suggests a pretense of feeling one way and an acting under the influence of another and opposite feeling
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I should disdain myself as much as I do him, were I capable of such duplicity as to flatter a man whom I scorn and despise— Burney

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The word may sometimes imply no more than the appearance of deceit arising out of a complexity of motives or a lack of singlemindedness
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it was chiefly that the simplicity and openness of their lives brought out for him the duplicity that lay at the bottom of ours— Mary Austin

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Dissimulation implies deceit by concealing what one truly is or what one actually feels and therefore often suggests duplicity
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Archer lookçd at her perplexedly, wondering if it were lightness or dissimulation that enabled her to touch so easily on the past at the very moment when she was risking her reputation in order to break with it— Wharton

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the levity of Hamlet, his repetition of phrase, his puns, are not part of a deliberate plan of dissimulation, but a form of emotional relief— T. S. Eliot

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Cunning implies deceit by the use of trickery, wiles, or stratagems; it often connotes a perverted intelligence and almost vicious shrewdness in attaining one's end
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surely the continual habit of dissimulation is but a weak and sluggish cunning, and not greatly politic— Bacon

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he . . . had come to the belief that I was incapable of the cunning and duplicity they practiced ... to deceive with lies and false seeming was their faculty and not mine— Hudson

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Guile carries an even stronger implication of lack of obviousness in the arts practiced or tricks used than does cunning; in strict use it carries a strong implication of insidiousness or treacherousness
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we now return to claim our just inheritance of old ... by what best way, whether of open war or covert guile, we now debate— Milton

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but Father Vaillant had been plunged into the midst of a great industrial expansion, where guile and trickery and honorable ambition all struggled together— Cather

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The word has, however, so long been used in such phrases as "without guile" and "devoid of guile" that it often is used in a very much weaker sense than cunning, sometimes implying little more than artfulness or the use of wiles
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her heart innocent of the most pardonable guileConrad

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there is a note of unconscious guile, the guile of the peasant, of the sophisticated small boy, in the letter he wrote— Brooks

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Analogous words: *deception, fraud, trickery, double-dealing, chicane, chicanery: craft, artifice (see ART): cheating, cozening, defrauding, overreaching (see CHEAT vb)
Contrasted words: honesty, uprightness, scrupulousness (see corresponding adjectives at UPRIGHT): openness, candidness or candor, frankness (see corresponding adjectives at FRANK): straightforwardness, forthrightness (see corresponding adjectives at STRAIGHTFORWARD)
2 *imposture, cheat, fraud, sham, fake, deception, counterfeit, humbug
Analogous words: ruse, wile, *trick, feint, stratagem, maneuver, artifice, gambit, ploy

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • deceit — de·ceit n: deliberate and misleading concealment, false declaration, or artifice: deception theft by deceit; also: the tort of committing or carrying out deceit an action for deceit see also fraud, misrepresentation …   Law dictionary

  • Deceit — De*ceit , n. [OF. deceit, des[,c]ait, decept (cf. deceite, de[,c]oite), fr. L. deceptus deception, fr. decipere. See {Deceive}.] 1. An attempt or disposition to deceive or lead into error; any declaration, artifice, or practice, which misleads… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • deceit — de‧ceit [dɪˈsiːt] noun [countable, uncountable] behaviour that is intended to make someone believe something that is not true: • Victims of the firm s fraud and deceit are seeking redress in the courts. * * * deceit UK US /dɪˈsiːt/ noun [U] ►… …   Financial and business terms

  • Deceit — Album par This Heat Sortie 1981 Enregistrement 1981 Durée 40:45 Genre Post punk Rock expérimental Producteur …   Wikipédia en Français

  • deceit — [n1] practice of misleading ambidexterity, ambidextrousness, artifice, cheating, chicane, chicanery, cozening, craft, craftiness, cunning, deceitfulness, deception, defrauding, dirty dealing*, dirty pool*, dishonesty, dissemblance, dissimulation …   New thesaurus

  • deceit — c.1300, from O.Fr. deceite, fem. pp. of deceveir (see DECEIVE (Cf. deceive)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • deceit — ► NOUN 1) the action or practice of deceiving. 2) a deceitful act or statement …   English terms dictionary

  • deceit — [dē sēt′, disēt′] n. [ME < OFr deceite < pp. of deceveir: see DECEIVE] 1. the act of representing as true what is known to be false; a deceiving or lying 2. a dishonest action or trick; fraud or lie 3. the quality of being deceitful …   English World dictionary

  • deceit — /di seet /, n. 1. the act or practice of deceiving; concealment or distortion of the truth for the purpose of misleading; duplicity; fraud; cheating: Once she exposed their deceit, no one ever trusted them again. 2. an act or device intended to… …   Universalium

  • deceit — de•ceit [[t]dɪˈsit[/t]] n. 1) the act or practice of deceiving 2) a stratagem intended to deceive 3) the quality of being deceitful; duplicity • Etymology: 1225–75; deceite < OF, n. use of fem. of deceit, ptp. of deceivre to deceive syn:… …   From formal English to slang


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