verb (used with object)
to defraud; swindle: He cheated her out of her inheritance.
to deceive; influence by fraud: He cheated us into believing him a hero.
to elude; deprive of something expected: He cheated the law by suicide.
verb (used without object)
to practice fraud or deceit: She cheats without regrets.
to violate rules or regulations: He cheats at cards.
to take an examination or test in a dishonest way, as by improper access to answers.
Informal. to be sexually unfaithful (often followed by on ): Her husband knew she had been cheating all along. He cheated on his wife.
a person who acts dishonestly, deceives, or defrauds: He is a cheat and a liar.
a fraud; swindle; deception: The game was a cheat.
Law. the fraudulent obtaining of another's property by a pretense or trick.
an impostor: The man who passed as an earl was a cheat.

1325–75; Middle English chet (noun) (aphetic for achet, variant of eschet escheat); cheten to escheat, derivative of chet (noun)

cheatable, adjective
cheatingly, adverb
outcheat, verb (used with object)
uncheated, adjective
uncheating, adjective

1. mislead, dupe, delude; gull, con; hoax, fool. Cheat, deceive, trick, victimize refer to the use of fraud or artifice deliberately to hoodwink or obtain an unfair advantage over someone. Cheat implies conducting matters fraudulently, especially for profit to oneself: to cheat at cards. Deceive suggests deliberately misleading or deluding, to produce misunderstanding or to prevent someone from knowing the truth: to deceive one's parents. To trick is to deceive by a stratagem, often of a petty, crafty, or dishonorable kind: to trick someone into signing a note. To victimize is to make a victim of; the emotional connotation makes the cheating, deception, or trickery seem particularly dastardly: to victimize a blind man. 8. swindler, trickster, sharper, dodger, charlatan, fraud, fake, phony, mountebank. 9. imposture, artifice, trick, hoax. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
cheat (tʃiːt)
vb (when intr, usually foll by on)
1.  to deceive or practise deceit, esp for one's own gain; trick or swindle (someone)
2.  (intr) to obtain unfair advantage by trickery, as in a game of cards
3.  (tr) to escape or avoid (something unpleasant) by luck or cunning: to cheat death
4.  informal to be sexually unfaithful to (one's wife, husband, or lover)
5.  a person who cheats
6.  a deliberately dishonest transaction, esp for gain; fraud
7.  informal sham
8.  law the obtaining of another's property by fraudulent means
9.  the usual US name for rye-brome
[C14: short for escheat]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., aphetic of O.Fr. escheat, legal term for revision of property to state when owner dies without heirs, lit. "that which falls to one," pp. of escheoir "befall by chance, happen, devolve," from V.L. *excadere "to fall away," from L. ex- "out" + cadere "to fall" (see
case (1)). Meaning evolved through "confiscate" (mid-15c.) to "deprive unfairly" (1590). To cheat on (someone) "be sexually unfaithful" first recorded 1934.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


A number of high-profile instances involving plagiarism and resume padding that were reported in 2001 continued to capture headlines in 2002 and to bring increased scrutiny to the methodology of cheating. Though historian Doris Kearns Goodwin maintained that the cribbing in her book The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys (1987) was unintentional, her reputation was severely damaged, and in June she resigned her post on the Pulitzer Prize board. Fellow historian Stephen Ambrose apologized in January for having failed to acknowledge his source material in at least six books. (See Obituaries.) After Piper (Kan.) High School teacher Christine Pelton accused some students of having taken material from the Internet for a botany project, gave them all failing grades in 2001, and had her decision overruled by the school board in December, she resigned in February 2002; other teachers were inspired to follow suit as well, and the handling of the incident sparked a national uproar. Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Joseph Ellis lost his credibility and was suspended in 2001 for one year from teaching at Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Mass., after it became known that he had fabricated stories about military exploits in Vietnam and subsequent activity in the peace and civil rights movements. Football coach George O'Leary lost his dream job in 2002 at the University of Notre Dame a few days after signing his contract when "inaccuracies" sprang up in his resume.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
With so much riding on the results of standardized testing, the state is about
  to adopt new measures to protect against cheating.
Academic cheating and dishonesty have long been a problem.
The students are sophisticated in music and were aware he was cheating them,
  and walked out without applause.
Somebody started cheating a little bit, and then it became more and more a part
  of the social norm.
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