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Recorded since 1345, from Old French fraude, from Latin fraus ‎(deceit, injury, offence).



fraud ‎(plural frauds)

  1. (law) The crime of stealing or otherwise illegally obtaining money by use of deception tactics.
  2. Any act of deception carried out for the purpose of unfair, undeserved and/or unlawful gain.
    • Alexander Pope
      If success a lover's toil attends, / Few ask, if fraud or force attained his ends.
    • 2006, Edwin Black, chapter 1, Internal Combustion[1]:
      But electric vehicles and the batteries that made them run became ensnared in corporate scandals, fraud, and monopolistic corruption that shook the confidence of the nation and inspired automotive upstarts.
  3. The assumption of a false identity to such deceptive end.
  4. A person who performs any such trick.
  5. (obsolete) A trap or snare.
    • Milton
      to draw the proud King Ahab into fraud


Related terms[edit]


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See also[edit]


fraud ‎(third-person singular simple present frauds, present participle frauding, simple past and past participle frauded)

  1. (obsolete) To defraud