9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[dih-sep-tiv] /dɪˈsɛp tɪv/
apt or tending to deceive:
The enemy's peaceful overtures may be deceptive.
perceptually misleading:
It looks like a curved line, but it's deceptive.
Origin of deceptive
1605-15; < Medieval Latin dēceptīvus, equivalent to Latin dēcept(us) (see deception) + -īvus -ive
Related forms
deceptively, adverb
deceptiveness, noun
nondeceptive, adjective
nondeceptively, adverb
nondeceptiveness, noun
undeceptive, adjective
undeceptively, adverb
undeceptiveness, noun
1. delusive, fallacious, specious. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for deceptive
  • From the beginning, deceptive research yielded rich scientific rewards.
  • But appearances and rhetoric may be a little deceptive.
  • My family's lines prove that skin color is deceptive and that race is a social, not a biological, construct.
  • Many species have developed deceptive appearances to fool would-be predators by taking on the look of other unpalatable species.
  • And so, as with other businesses, the chances of deceptive ads have increased.
  • Increasing the size of the pool is not an excuse for a deceptive job description.
  • Although all the countries seem stable for now, the calm is deceptive.
  • Often advertising claims are confusing or downright deceptive.
  • Hide the decline is not simply about a deceptive elimination of some inconvenient data.
  • Through deceptive marketing techniques, they've turned this requirement into a multimillion-dollar business.
British Dictionary definitions for deceptive


likely or designed to deceive; misleading: appearances can be deceptive
(music) (of a cadence) another word for interrupted (sense 3)
Derived Forms
deceptively, adverb
deceptiveness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for deceptive

1610s, from French deceptif (late 14c.), from Medieval Latin deceptivus, from decept-, past participle stem of Latin decipere (see deceive). Earlier in this sense was deceptious (c.1600), from French deceptieux, from Medieval Latin deceptiosus, from deceptionem. Related: Deceptively; deceptiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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