Definition of hornswoggle in US English:



[with object]usually be hornswoggled
North American
  • Get the better of (someone) by cheating or deception.

    ‘you mean to say you were hornswoggled?’
    • ‘A reader identified simply as, ‘Vincenzo,’ amplifies Christian's description of the previous time that this same program was hornswoggled by the very same trick.’
    • ‘Was he really trying to hornswoggle the troops and the American people?’
    • ‘I have a vision at this point of Quantum Fields staggering back and, hand to brow, muttering ‘Godfrey Daniel, I've been hornswoggled!’’
    • ‘I have seen magic done without props but never without an audience; any audience will do, but I must leave hornswoggling to the aspiring magician.’
    • ‘He's very easily dazzled, and we might add, hornswoggled and hoodwinked.’
    • ‘This site also cites a trick attributed to Christopher Columbus in 1504, in which he is said to have hornswoggled the dumb island natives he was dealing with.’
    • ‘Instead, he seems to have suggested he was hornswoggled by someone named Lucy.’
    • ‘And Mike was hornswoggled enough to replace some of his martial graphics with a picture of some nice mountain scenery.’
    • ‘However those responsible for this 30th Anniversary release are sentenced to 30 years of hard labor in the California desert for lying to, cheating, and hornswoggling an unsuspecting public.’
    • ‘There is also a sobering running assumption that Jessica, as a woman of what the French call a certain age, is starved for love and easily hornswoggled by any handsome young man who cozies up to her.’
    • ‘The two days of testimony in the House last week revealed an embarrassing ignorance on the part of legislators who believe tribes acted in bad faith or somehow hornswoggled the state when the compacts were originally negotiated.’
    • ‘This episode just shows that scientists and technicians who are exposed to phenomena that are sufficiently far out of their fields, can be completely hornswoggled.’
    • ‘Now the Mangy Mouse is trying to milk any money it can out of the ape-raised human, hoping to, yet again, hornswoggle parents out of their hard-earned mortgage payments.’
    • ‘Whilst being muggled and hornswoggled, Eddie managed to reach into his pocket, pull out his pistol, and shoot himself in the leg.’
    • ‘And how could they have been so brazenly hornswoggled?’
    • ‘A couple of the young lions of the business will show you the limits of credibility, the far reaches of imagination, and the ease with which the less skeptical can be hornswoggled.’
    • ‘Before an audience of people who supposedly spend their days pursuing the truth, he joked about misstatements (if not lies) he had used to persuade (if not hornswoggle) the American people and the media.’
    • ‘But at least that is useful, I guess - given the way people so often get hornswoggled by so-called ‘experts’ these days.’
    • ‘So don't be hornswoggled into thinking that this is some sort of magic bridge between the legendary and the not-so-good.’
    • ‘She had been mistaken, lulled, hopeful, hornswoggled.’
    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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Early 19th century (originally US): of unknown origin.