9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[hohks] /hoʊks/
something intended to deceive or defraud:
The Piltdown man was a scientific hoax.
verb (used with object)
to deceive by a hoax; hoodwink.
Origin of hoax
1790-1800; perhaps contraction of hocus
Related forms
hoaxer, noun
unhoaxed, adjective
1. deception, fraud, fake, imposture, humbug. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for hoax
  • But only now has the whole story of the fantastic hoax been told.
  • It's pretty obvious from the one photo that this is a hoax.
  • To infer that climate change is a hoax seems ridiculous to me.
  • Maybe it was all just a cruel hoax.
  • But the revelation was also seen as a hoax and publicity stunt.
  • If that sounds like an obvious hoax, that's because it is.
  • Perhaps this whole thing about budgetary deficits is a hoax.
  • It was a hoax, of course, but nobody ever quite figured out how it worked.
  • The attacks spawned a spate of hoax letters nationwide.
  • The raid made for gripping television, but it soon became clear that the phone calls were a hoax.
British Dictionary definitions for hoax


a deception, esp a practical joke
(transitive) to deceive or play a joke on (someone)
Derived Forms
hoaxer, noun
Word Origin
C18: probably from hocus
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 hoax

1796 (v.), 1808 (n.), probably an alteration of hocus "conjurer, juggler" (1630s), or directly from hocus-pocus. Related: Hoaxed; hoaxing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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