1. An attempt or disposition to deceive or lead into error; any declaration, artifice, or practice, which misleads another, or causes him to believe what is false; a contrivance to entrap; deception; a wily device; fraud.
Making the ephah small and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit. --Amos viii. 5.
Friendly to man, far from deceit or guile. --Milton.
Yet still we hug the dear deceit. --N. Cotton.
2. Law Any trick, collusion, contrivance, false representation, or underhand practice, used to defraud another. When injury is thereby effected, an action of deceit, as it called, lies for compensation.
Syn: -- Deception; fraud; imposition; duplicity; trickery; guile; falsifying; double-dealing; stratagem. See Deception.
n 1: the quality of being fraudulent [syn: fraudulence]
2: a misleading falsehood [syn: misrepresentation, deception]
3: the act of deceiving [syn: deception, dissembling, dissimulation]