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[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.
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 hoaxes
  • If there wasn't a general consensus or feeling about a cover up, these hoaxes wouldn't convince so many people.
  • Several fossil finds that were used to support the theory of evolution were hoaxes or frauds.
  • They expose hoaxes quickly, and make short work of false pretenses.
  • Brain surgery is another one of those elite hoaxes explained away by the fact that only educated people would understand.
  • He couldn't have pulled precisely this hoax without it-but we've had hoaxes for ages.
  • Tales and photos of these enormous, fierce-looking fish are widely circulated-and sometimes dismissed as hoaxes.
  • These paranormal claims require testing to be accepted, evidence that they are not flukes or hoaxes.
  • Some hoaxes pan out, and some don't, and some that do come back year after year.
  • hoaxes can cause significant disruptions to operations, and incite fear with employees.
  • The standard procedures can be adapted to manage many unknown but low-risk substances, including powder hoaxes.
British Dictionary definitions for hoaxes


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 hoaxes


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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