Legal Definition and Related Resources of Deceit

Meaning of Deceit

fraud , cheat , craft or collusion used to deceive and defraud another. In an action of deceit, the plaintiff must prove that he acted on the misrepresentation or false representation made to him by the defendant who knew it to be untrue or false or who made the representation recklessh without regard or without caring whether i: was true or not and intending that the plaintiff should act upon it; he should further prove that he did in fact act upon i: and suffered damage as a result. See Dicke v Brannon, 162 S.E2d 827, 118 Ga.App. 33. See also Work v Campbell, 128 P. 943. 164 C. 343.

Deceit Alternative Definition

A fraudulent misrepresentation or contrivance, by which one man deceives another, who has no means of detecting the fraud, to the injury and damage of the latter. It requires (1) a false representation; (2) inability of the person damaged to prevent the fraud; (3) resultant damage. Deceit is a type of fraud (Bigelow, Frauds, § 1) ; fraud being the generic term, and deceit being active fraud by misrepresentation, or other positive contrivance.

Synonyms of Deceit


  • beguilement
  • camouflage
  • cheating
  • collusion
  • cozenage
  • craftiness
  • cunning
  • deceitfulness
  • deception
  • deceptiveness
  • delusiveness
  • dissembling
  • dissimulation
  • dolus
  • doubledealing
  • duplicity
  • equivocation
  • fabrication
  • fallacia
  • fallaciousness
  • falseheartedness
  • falsehood
  • falseness
  • falsification
  • falsity
  • forgery
  • fraud
  • fraudulence
  • fraus
  • furtiveness
  • indirection
  • insidiousness
  • insincerity
  • jugglery
  • lying
  • mendacity
  • misrepresentation
  • perfidy
  • perjury
  • pretense
  • prevarication
  • sham
  • sneakiness
  • subreption
  • surreptitiousness
  • treachery
  • trickery
  • underhanded practice
  • underhandedness
  • untruth
  • untruthfulness Associated Concepts: action for fraud or deceit
  • discovery of the fraud or deceit
  • fraud or deceit
  • misrepresentation

Related Entries of Deceit in the Encyclopedia of Law Project

Browse or run a search for Deceit in the American Encyclopedia of Law, the Asian Encyclopedia of Law, the European Encyclopedia of Law, the UK Encyclopedia of Law or the Latin American and Spanish Encyclopedia of Law.

Deceit in Historical Law

You might be interested in the historical meaning of this term. Browse or search for Deceit in Historical Law in the Encyclopedia of Law.

Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms

Search for legal acronyms and/or abbreviations containing Deceit in the Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms Dictionary.

Related Legal Terms

You might be also interested in these legal terms:

Mentioned in these terms

Artifice, Collusion, Defraud, Evade, Evening, False Representation, , .


You might be interested in these references tools:

Resource Description
Deceit in the Dictionary Deceit in our legal dictionaries
Browse the Legal Thesaurus Find synonyms and related words of Deceit
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Related topics Deceit in the World Encyclopedia of Law


This definition of Deceit is based on the The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . This entry needs to be proofread.

Vocabularies (Semantic Web Information)


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Topic Map A group of names, occurrences and associations
Topic Tree A topic display format, showing the hierarchy
Sitemap Index Sitemap Index, including Taxonomies The URI of Deceit (more about URIs)

Deceit in the Dictionary of Law consisting of Judicial Definitions and Explanations of Words, Phrases and Maxims

Any devise or false representation by which one man misleads another to his injury. Formerly, the remedy was a “writ of deceit”; now, unless otherwise provided by statute, it is by an “action of trespass on the case”. The defendant or his agent must have been guilty of some moral wrong; legal fraud alone will not support the action. Erie City Iron Works v. Barber, 106 Pa. 125, 138, 140 (1884), cases.

Note: This legal definition of Deceit in the Dictionary of Law (English and American Jurisprudence) is from 1893.

English Legal System: Deceit

In the context of the English law, A Dictionary of Law provides the following legal concept of Deceit :

A tort
that is committed when someone knowingly or recklessly makes a false statement of fact intending that it should be acted on by someone else and that person does act on the false statement and thereby suffers damage.

See fraud.


This term is a noun.

Etimology of Deceit

(You may find deceit at the world legal encyclopedia and the etimology of more terms).

c. 1300, from Old French deceite, femenine past participle of deceveir (see deceive). Deceit is a shorter and more energetic word for deceitfulness, indicating the quality; it is also, but more rarely, used to express the act or manner of deceiving. The reverse is true of deception, which is properly the act or course by which one deceives, and not properly the quality; it may express the state of being deceived. Fraud is an act or series of acts of deceit by which one attempts to benefit himself at the expense of others. It is generally a breaking of the law; the others are not. [Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia, 1902]




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