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4 definitions found
 for Deceit
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Deceit \De*ceit"\, n. [OF. deceit, des[,c]ait, decept (cf.
     deceite, de[,c]oite), fr. L. deceptus deception, fr.
     decipere. See Deceive.]
     1. An attempt or disposition to deceive or lead into error;
        any declaration, artifice, or practice, which misleads
        another, or causes him to believe what is false; a
        contrivance to entrap; deception; a wily device; fraud.
        [1913 Webster]
              Making the ephah small and the shekel great, and
              falsifying the balances by deceit.    --Amos viii.
        [1913 Webster]
              Friendly to man, far from deceit or guile. --Milton.
        [1913 Webster]
              Yet still we hug the dear deceit.     --N. Cotton.
        [1913 Webster]
     2. (Law) Any trick, collusion, contrivance, false
        representation, or underhand practice, used to defraud
        another. When injury is thereby effected, an action of
        deceit, as it called, lies for compensation.
     Syn: Deception; fraud; imposition; duplicity; trickery;
          guile; falsifying; double-dealing; stratagem. See
          [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

      n 1: the quality of being fraudulent [syn: fraudulence,
      2: a misleading falsehood [syn: misrepresentation, deceit,
      3: the act of deceiving [syn: deception, deceit,
         dissembling, dissimulation]

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  90 Moby Thesaurus words for "deceit":
     art, artful dodge, artfulness, artifice, blind, cheating, chicane,
     chicanery, con, con game, conspiracy, contrivance, coup, craft,
     craftiness, cunning, cute trick, deceitfulness, deception,
     defrauding, design, device, dishonesty, dissemblance,
     dissimulation, dodge, double-cross, double-dealing, duplicity,
     expedient, fakement, falseheartedness, falseness, feint, fetch,
     flam, flimflam, fraud, fraudulence, furtiveness, gambit, game,
     gimmick, grift, guile, gyp, hanky-panky, hoax, humbug, hypocrisy,
     indirection, insidiousness, intrigue, jugglery, knavery,
     little game, maneuver, misrepresentation, monkey business, move,
     overreaching, plot, ploy, racket, red herring, ruse, scam, scheme,
     sell, sham, shift, shiftiness, sleight, slyness, sneak attack,
     sneakiness, stratagem, strategy, subterfuge, surreptitiousness,
     swindle, tactic, trapping, treacherousness, treachery, trick,
     trickery, underhandedness, wile, wily device

From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856) :

  DECEIT, tort. 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. 
       2. Fraud, or the intention to deceive, is the very essence of this 
  injury, for if the party misrepresenting was himself mistaken, no blame can 
  attach to him. The representation must be made malo animo, but whether or 
  not the party is himself to gain by it, is wholly immaterial. 
       3. Deceit may not only be by asserting a falsehood deliberately to the 
  injury of another as, that Paul is in flourishing circumstances, whereas he 
  is in truth insolvent; that Peter is an honest man, when he knew him to be 
  a, rogue; that property, real or personal, possesses certain qualities, or 
  belongs to the vendor, whereas he knew these things to be false; but by any 
  act or demeanor which would naturally impress the mind of a careful man with 
  a mistaken belief. 
       4. Therefore, if one whose manufactures are of a superior quality, 
  distinguishes them by a particular mark, which facts are known to Peter, and 
  Paul counterfeits this work, and affixes them to articles of the same 
  description, but not made by such person, and sells them to Peter as goods 
  of such manufacture, this is a deceit. 
       5. Again, the vendor having a knowledge of a defect in a commodity 
  which cannot be obvious to the buyer, does not disclose it, or, if apparent, 
  uses an artifice and conceals it, he has been guilty of a fraudulent 
  misrepresentation for there is an implied condition in every contract that 
  the parties to it act upon equal terms, and the seller is presumed to have 
  assured or represented to the vendee that he is not aware of any secret 
  deficiencies by which the commodity is impaired, and that he has no 
  advantage which himself does not possess. 
       6. But in all these cases the party injured must have no means of 
  detecting the fraud, for if he has such means his ignorance will not avail 
  him in that case he becomes the willing dupe of the other's artifice, and 
  volenti non fit injuria. For example, if a horse is sold wanting an eye, and 
  the defect is visible to a common observer, the purchaser cannot be said to 
  be deceived,  for by inspection he might discover it, but if the blindness 
  is only discoverable by one experienced in such diseases, and the vendee is 
  an inexperienced person, it is a deceit, provided the seller knew of the 
       7. The remedy for a deceit, unless the right of action has been 
  suspended or discharged, is by an action of trespass on the case. The old 
  writ of deceit was brought for acknowledging a fine, or the like, in another 
  name, and this being a perversion of law to an evil purpose, and a high 
  contempt, the act was laid contra pacem, and a fine imposed upon the 
  offender. See Bro. Abr. Disceit; Vin Abr. Disceit. 
       8. When two or more persons unite in a deceit upon another, they may be 
  indicted for a conspiracy. (q.v.) Vide, generally, 2 Bouv. Inst. n. 2321-
  29; Skin. 119; Sid. 375; 3 T. R. 52-65; 1 Lev. 247; 1 Strange, 583; D Roll. 
  Abr. 106; 7 Barr, Rep. 296; 11 Serg. & R. 309, 310; Com. Dig. Action upon 
  the case for a deceit; Chancery, 3 F 1 and 2; 3 M 1; 3 N 1; 4 D 3; 4 H 4; 4 
  L 1; 4 O 2; Covin; Justices of the Peace, B 30; Pleader, 2 H; 1 Vin. Ab. 
  560; 8 Vin. Ab. 490; Doct. Pl. 51; Dane's Ab. Index, h.t.; 1 Chit. Pr. 832 
  Ham. N. P. c. 2, s. 4; Ayl. Pand. 99 2 Day, 531; 12 Mass. 20; 3 Johns. 269; 
  6 Johns. 181; 2 Day, 205, 381; 4 Yeates, 522; 18 John. 395: 8 John. 23; 4 
  Bibb, 91; 1 N. & M. 197. Vide, also, articles Equality; Fraud; Lie. 

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