1. to deprive of something valuable by the use of deceit or fraud
2. to influence or lead by deceit, trick, or artifice
3. to elude or thwart by or as if by outwitting <cheat death> intransitive verb 1. a. to practice fraud or trickery b. to violate rules dishonestly <cheat at cards> <cheating on a test> 2. to be sexually unfaithful — usually used with on <was cheating on his wife> 3. to position oneself defensively near a particular area in anticipation of a play in that area <the shortstop was cheating toward second base> • cheater noun Synonyms: cheat, cozen, defraud, swindle mean to get something by dishonesty or deception. cheat suggests using trickery that escapes observation <cheated me out of a dollar>. cozen implies artful persuading or flattering to attain a thing or a purpose <always able to cozen her grandfather out of a few dollars>. defraud stresses depriving one of his or her rights and usually connotes deliberate perversion of the truth <defrauded of her inheritance by an unscrupulous lawyer>. swindle implies large-scale cheating by misrepresentation or abuse of confidence <swindled of their savings by con artists>. II. noun Etymology: earlier cheat forfeited property, from Middle English chet escheat, short for eschete — more at escheat Date: 1615 1. the act or an instance of fraudulently deceiving ; deception, fraud 2. one that cheats ; pretender, deceiver 3. [probably from a deceptive resemblance to grain] a. chess 1 b. cheatgrass 4. the obtaining of property from another by an intentional active distortion of the truth
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.