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  • Verb




It’s usually not nice or a good idea to deceive or trick people, but sometimes it surely can be satisfying under the right conditions. I also think that it sometimes makes sense to deceive or mislead a person who is very mean to others to teach that person a lesson. For instance, one day I successfully deceived or fooled Bruce the Bully into trading me his shoes for some gum, and I at once threw those shoes into the school lake. I then deceived him or made a false statement that the shoes were a gift to the mermaid in the lake and that soon she would give him one hundred dollars . . . and Bruce believed it!

Quiz: What are you doing if you are deceiving someone?

  • You are fooling them in some way.
  • You are telling them the truth.
  • You are determined to make them believe you.

Memory Hook

Diamond Ace up Your Sleeve A card shark might deceive you with an ace of diamonds kept up his sleeve, so watch out!


Word Ingredients

de- down, off, from
ceiv take, seize, grasp mentally
e used for spelling and pronunciation

When you are deceived by someone, your “mental grasp” of the truth of something becomes “off,” and hence you are tricked.

Word Theater

Star Wars Episode 4 A New Hope Luke couldn't do it with his eyes because they deceived him; instead, he had to use his instinct, which worked!

Word Constellation


Word Variants

deception n the act of tricking someone
deceit n trickery