Definition of hoodwink in English:



  • Deceive or trick.

    ‘staff were hoodwinked into thinking the cucumber was a sawn-off shotgun’
    • ‘I believe it's another attempt to hoodwink the population that they are doing something about crime.’
    • ‘Critics of fish farming are furious at what they consider to be an attempt to hoodwink the public.’
    • ‘But hoodwinking the public on scientific and technological subjects is not difficult.’
    • ‘They accuse stem cell research traditionalists of hoodwinking the public by promising cures they cannot deliver.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Cabinet advice, says Hide, showed the public had been hoodwinked into investing in a project that made billions for a Hollywood studio.’
    • ‘Do not now try to insult me further by attempting to hoodwink me with any further false promises.’
    • ‘What they are really saying is that they will try to hoodwink the public.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The privatizers have hoodwinked us into believing that public education, like poverty, is hopeless.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Any party that claims it's not necessary is hoodwinking voters.’
    • ‘His principle was simple: to deceive the enemy you must first hoodwink your allies.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Surely there's a better way forward than hoodwinking the public?’
    • ‘So maybe he himself was hoodwinked into a misguided war.’
    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
    View synonyms


Mid 16th century (originally in the sense ‘to blindfold’): from the noun hood + an obsolete sense of wink ‘close the eyes’.