deceit, trickery, sharp practice, or breach of confidence, perpetrated for profit or to gain some unfair or dishonest advantage.
a particular instance of such deceit or trickery: mail fraud; election frauds.
any deception, trickery, or humbug: That diet book is a fraud and a waste of time.
a person who makes deceitful pretenses; sham; poseur.

1300–50; Middle English fraude < Old French < Medieval Latin fraud- (stem of fraus) deceit, injury

fraudful, adjective
fraudfully, adverb
antifraud, adjective
prefraud, noun

1. See deceit. 3. wile, hoax. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
fraud (frɔːd)
1.  deliberate deception, trickery, or cheating intended to gain an advantage
2.  an act or instance of such deception
3.  something false or spurious: his explanation was a fraud
4.  informal a person who acts in a false or deceitful way
[C14: from Old French fraude, from Latin fraus deception]

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

"criminal deception," mid-14c., from O.Fr. fraude, from L. fraudem (nom. fraus) "deceit, injury." The noun meaning "impostor, humbug" is attested from 1850. Pious fraud "deception practiced for the sake of what is deemed a good purpose" is from 1560s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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