v. cheat·ed, cheat·ing, cheats
1. To deceive by trickery; swindle: cheated customers by overcharging them for purchases.
2. To deprive by trickery; defraud: cheated them of their land.
3. To mislead; fool: illusions that cheat the eye.
4. To elude; escape: cheat death.
1. To act dishonestly; practice fraud.
2. To violate rules deliberately, as in a game: was accused of cheating at cards.
3. Informal To be sexually unfaithful: cheat on a spouse.
4. Sports To position oneself closer to a certain area than is normal or expected: The shortstop cheated toward second base.
1. An act of cheating; a fraud or swindle.
2. One who cheats; a swindler.
3. A technique that exploits a flaw or hidden feature in a video game or computer program.
4. Law Fraudulent acquisition of another's property.
5. Botany Any of several species of brome, especially Bromus secalinus, an annual European grass widespread as a weed.
[Middle English cheten, to confiscate, short for acheten, variant of escheten, from eschete, escheat; see ESCHEAT.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.