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See also: déceptive



From Middle French déceptif, from Latin dēceptīvus, from dēcipiō (I deceive).


  • IPA(key): /dɪˈsɛp.tɪv/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛptɪv


deceptive (comparative more deceptive, superlative most deceptive)

  1. Likely or attempting to deceive.
    Synonyms: misleading; see also Thesaurus:deceptive
    deceptive practices
    Appearances can be deceptive.
    • 1653, John Bulwer, Anthropometamorphosis[1], London: William Hunt, Scene 24, page 521:
      [] others declare that no Creature can be made or transmuted into a better or worse, or transformed into another species [] and Martinus Delrio the Jesuit accounts this degeneration of Man into a Beast to be an illusion, deceptive and repugnant to Nature;
    • 1789, Frederick the Great, translated by Thomas Holcroft, The History of My Own Times[2], London: G.G.J. and J. Robinson, Part 1, Chapter 12, p. 163:
      [] at the opening of the campaign, the French, after various deceptive attempts on different places, suddenly invested Tournay.
    • 1846, Richard Chenevix Trench, Notes on the Miracles of Our Lord, London: John W. Parker, 2nd ed., 1847, Preliminary Essay, Chapter 2, p. 10,[3]
      language altogether deceptive, and hiding the deeper reality from our eyes
    • 1978, Susan Sontag, chapter 2, in Illness as Metaphor[4], New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, page 13:
      [] it is characteristic of TB that many of its symptoms are deceptive—liveliness that comes from enervation, rosy cheeks that look like a sign of health but come from fever—and an upsurge of vitality may be a sign of approaching death.

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