Definition of hoodwink in English:



[with object]
  • Deceive or trick.

    ‘staff were hoodwinked into thinking the cucumber was a sawn-off shotgun’
    • ‘Obviously the players in this case have so little respect for the intelligence of the public, that they think that they can hoodwink us, tell us anything that comes to mind, and then gloss over it.’
    • ‘Any party that claims it's not necessary is hoodwinking voters.’
    • ‘So maybe he himself was hoodwinked into a misguided war.’
    • ‘They accuse stem cell research traditionalists of hoodwinking the public by promising cures they cannot deliver.’
    • ‘Critics of fish farming are furious at what they consider to be an attempt to hoodwink the public.’
    • ‘We work too hard for our dollars (which are worth less and less every day) to be hoodwinked and cheated by unscrupulous places such as these.’
    • ‘What they are really saying is that they will try to hoodwink the public.’
    • ‘In fact, in the developed countries, there are other bodies which put the claims of the adverts to the test through stringent laboratory tests to ensure customers are not being hoodwinked.’
    • ‘Among other things, the show will feature Randi's demonstration of the cold-reading technique used by magicians to entertain and mediums to hoodwink an unsuspecting public.’
    • ‘Do not now try to insult me further by attempting to hoodwink me with any further false promises.’
    • ‘Surely there's a better way forward than hoodwinking the public?’
    • ‘Cabinet advice, says Hide, showed the public had been hoodwinked into investing in a project that made billions for a Hollywood studio.’
    • ‘I believe it's another attempt to hoodwink the population that they are doing something about crime.’
    • ‘The privatizers have hoodwinked us into believing that public education, like poverty, is hopeless.’
    • ‘Once people have experienced a free press, they will never want to be hoodwinked again by papers attempting to cover the government's dirty footprints.’
    • ‘His principle was simple: to deceive the enemy you must first hoodwink your allies.’
    • ‘But hoodwinking the public on scientific and technological subjects is not difficult.’
    • ‘But I have to say that in this instance she emerges with a lot of credit as someone who is prepared to put her money where her mouth is - and is prepared to admit in public that she was hoodwinked.’
    deceive, trick, dupe, outwit, fool, delude, cheat, take in, bluff, hoax, mislead, misguide, lead on, defraud, double-cross, swindle, gull, finagle, get the better of
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Mid 16th century (originally in the sense ‘to blindfold’): from the noun hood + an obsolete sense of wink ‘close the eyes’.