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deceit, trickery, sharp practice, or breach of confidence, perpetrated for profit or to gain some unfair or dishonest advantage.
a particular instance of such deceit or trickery:
mail fraud; election frauds.
any deception, trickery, or humbug:
That diet book is a fraud and a waste of time.
a person who makes deceitful pretenses; sham; poseur.
deliberate deception, trickery, or cheating intended to gain an advantage
an act or instance of such deception
something false or spurious: his explanation was a fraud
(informal) a person who acts in a false or deceitful way

“criminal deception,” early 14c., from Old French fraude “deception, fraud” (13c.), from Latin fraudem (nominative fraus) “deceit, injury.” The noun meaning “impostor, humbug” is attested from 1850. Pious fraud “deception practiced for the sake of what is deemed a good purpose” is from 1560s.


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