English [ edit ]
Etymology [ edit ]
US criminal underworld slang, 1906 (noun), 1915 (verb), thinning alteration of
. graft   The lighter sound (‘a’ → ‘i’, /ɑː/ or /æ/ → /ɪ/) is associated with more subtle, sophisticated crime; compare  .
Pronunciation [ edit ]
grift ( plural )
A confidence game or swindle.
Hey, what's the grift? What are you trying to pull?
Synonyms [ edit ]
Translations [ edit ]
grift ( third-person singular simple present , grifts present participle , grifting simple past and past participle )
( transitive ) To obtain illegally, as by con game. ( intransitive ) To obtain money illegally.
References [ edit ]
grift” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2018.
A Dictionary of the Underworld: British and American, Eric Partridge (2015), p. 307
Word Origins...And How We Know Them: Etymology for Everyone, Anatoly Liberman (2009), p. 32