grift

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

US criminal underworld slang, 1906 (noun), 1915 (verb), thinning alteration of graft.[1][2][3] The lighter sound (‘a’ → ‘i’, /ɑː/ or /æ/ → /ɪ/) is associated with more subtle, sophisticated crime; compare swindle.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

grift ‎(plural grifts)

  1. A confidence game or swindle.
    Hey, what's the grift? What are you trying to pull?

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

grift ‎(third-person singular simple present grifts, present participle grifting, simple past and past participle grifted)

  1. (transitive) To obtain illegally, as by con game.
  2. (intransitive) To obtain money illegally.

References[edit]

  1. ^ grift” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).
  2. ^ A Dictionary of the Underworld: British and American, Eric Partridge (2015), p. 307
  3. ^ Word Origins...And How We Know Them: Etymology for Everyone, Anatoly Liberman (2009), p. 32