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From Old French, from Latin fraudulentus, from fraus.



fraudulent (comparative more fraudulent, superlative most fraudulent)

  1. Dishonest; based on fraud or deception.
    • 1594, Richard Hooker, Of the Lawes of Ecclesiastical Politie, London: William Stansbye, published 1622, book III, page 98:
      Secondly, Philoſophy which we are warned not to take heed of : not that Philoſophy, which is true & found knowledge attained by naturall diſcourſe of reaſon ; but that Philoſophy which to bolſter hereſie or error, caſteth a fraudulent ſhew of reaſon vpon things which are indeed vnreaſonable, & by that meane as by a ſtratageme ſpoyleth the ſimple which are not able to withſtand ſuch cunning.
    • a. 1729, Samuel Clarke, “The Reward of Justice”, in The Works of Samuel Clarke, volume II, London: J. and P. Knapton, published 1738, page 191:
      The only reaſon, why men are not always ſufficiently ſenſible of This ; ſo that Many, who are very Juſt in their Dealings between Man and Man, will yet be very fraudulent or rapacious with regard to the Publick ; is becauſe, in this latter caſe, ’tis not ſo obviouſly and immediately apparent uppon Whom the Injury falls, as it is in the caſe of Private Wrongs.
    • 1827, Thomas Babington Macaulay, “Machiavelli”, in Critical and Historical Essays: Contributed to The Edinburgh Review, volume I, new edition, London: Printed for Longman et al., published 1850, page 28:
      One writer gravely assures us that Maurice of Saxony learned all his fraudulent policy from that execrable volume [The Prince].
  2. false, phony
    He tried to pass a fraudulent check.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Nouns to which "fraudulent" is often applied: claim, practice, transfer, scheme, transaction, document, intent, misrepresentation, act, action, mortgage, check, conveyance, accounting, bankruptcy, reporting, etc.


Derived terms[edit]