Definition of swindle in US English:

swindle

verb

[with object]
  • 1Use deception to deprive (someone) of money or possessions.

    ‘a businessman swindled investors out of millions of dollars’
    • ‘Sometimes, the employers will even attempt to swindle their potential employees.’
    • ‘It quickly becomes evident this blind man is far from helpless, as he proceeds to swindle the gangsters out of all their money.’
    • ‘I felt sorry for those poor desperate people being swindled in such a way.’
    • ‘In 1989 he pleaded guilty to 55 counts of fraud, allegedly swindling elderly victims in Virginia and Tennessee out of around $1.25 million.’
    • ‘Then we hear about widespread accounting malpractices, even in giant corporations, and start to wonder if this is not a huge conspiracy to swindle us out of our money.’
    • ‘I admit I live by my wits a lot, but I don't use them to swindle people.’
    • ‘If that does not happen, unscrupulous traders will rush into villages and swindle desperate peasant farmers of their hard-earned crop.’
    • ‘It's estimated that patients were swindled out of some $12,750,000 from August / 96 to February / 03.’
    • ‘I don't condone cheats and con artists who swindle innocent victims out of their hard-earned cash.’
    • ‘She swindled eight people out of $111,000 in cash and jewelry before she was stopped.’
    • ‘A serial conman who swindled victims out of more than £1million told a judge that he blew £64,000 on exotic foreign holidays.’
    • ‘He failed not simply because he was swindled, but also because he was stupid.’
    • ‘While these men were not above occasionally swindling other working-class people, for the most part their actions were directed at the region's elites.’
    • ‘Most victims were swindled into paying €3,000 or more.’
    • ‘The group is suspected of having swindled each customer out of about 50,000 yen in such fees.’
    • ‘I bought this system from you believing you to be a reputable firm and I can plainly see you've swindled me out of my money’
    • ‘The so-called ‘phishing’ scams have developed as a popular technique for fraudsters to swindle people out of everything from PayPal accounts to ATM codes.’
    • ‘In fact, he has swindled his own family by managing to become the sole inheritor of their grandparents' estate.’
    • ‘The Government has pledged to crack down on unscrupulous doorstep salesmen who swindle vulnerable pensioners out of thousands of pounds.’
    • ‘For example, if I find a way of legally swindling you out of a lot of money, I cannot claim that my action is morally acceptable just because it is legal.’
    1. 1.1 Obtain (money) fraudulently.
      ‘he was said to have swindled $62.5 million from the pension fund’
      • ‘Those who swindle money in banks are like parasites.’
      • ‘A head teacher accused of being in a plot to swindle thousands of pounds out of school funds in a scam involving a builder, yesterday insisted he was ‘not dishonest in any way’.’
      • ‘Discarded papers found by bag-raiders can be used to swindle millions of pounds a year from bank accounts in identity and credit fraud.’
      • ‘This bizarre social phenomenon comes to light with the recent arrest of a con man for swindling around 100 million won from some 150 people.’
      • ‘This performance of theirs was just a ploy to swindle a few dollars out of travelers and adventurers and nothing more.’
      • ‘In 2001, a few newspapers carried stories on local securities firms swindling money from investors but soon all fell silent.’
      • ‘He allegedly swindled funds meant for building a culvert and a school.’
      • ‘That was the case in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where scam artists swindled more than $1.5 million from their victims.’
      • ‘He is also facing charges of embezzling a compensation fund for war victims and is being investigated for swindling a veterans' trust fund.’
      • ‘In both cases he's arguably signed contracts with the intention to swindle money.’
      • ‘A former headteacher who swindled £500,000 from school funds was led from her home by paramedics after failing to appear in court to be sentenced.’
      • ‘He was sentenced by a state judge to seven and a half years for swindling $650 million from investors who bought stock through his New York brokerage.’
      • ‘He uses Moliere's play to make a film inside a film about hypocrisy (specifically swindling money from wealthy people using a disguise).’
      • ‘Police in Shanghai have cracked a gang of four who swindled money using short messaging service on cell phones.’
      defraud, cheat, trick, fleece, dupe, deceive, exploit, squeeze, milk, bleed
      View synonyms

noun

  • A fraudulent scheme or action.

    ‘he is mixed up in a $10 million insurance swindle’
    • ‘They are accomplices of the dealer - a part of the swindle.’
    • ‘It is a sales gimmick, a cheat, a swindle, a scam.’
    • ‘Were they just perpetrating swindles for their salaries?’
    • ‘It's a total scam, swindle, and fake, but no one in our consumer agencies has any intention of doing anything about it.’
    • ‘Q. Have you ever been on the wrong end of a swindle or scam?’
    • ‘The fact that people have been scammed for ‘hundreds of years’ doesn't justify your continuing the swindle!’
    • ‘Online crimes can include multimillion-dollar swindles, online auction scams, and piracy of software and other copyrighted material.’
    • ‘These people are clearly criminals and have perpetrated a massive swindle against thousands of Americans, and become fantastically rich as a result.’
    • ‘I want this advertising stopped as a swindle.’
    • ‘The inability of the regulators to prevent scams and swindles has also brought the private pension industry into disrepute.’
    • ‘One company is being investigated in connection with an alleged swindle involving close to €30 million.’
    • ‘When high street banks offer 0.1% annual interest, how can anyone offer nearly 500 times as much without straying into frauds or swindles?’
    • ‘He will get fatter and nervier, simply because our system turns a blind eye to such a swindle.’
    • ‘A fraudster jailed after making a fortune from masterminding a timeshare swindle could be forced to pay £80 million to his victims.’
    • ‘Of course we all want to be able to detect the lie, the cheat, the swindle, the manipulation.’
    • ‘Indeed, both men led famous swindles on the citizens they governed.’
    • ‘To protect yourself against any of these possible swindles you need to be prudent in your investment decisions.’
    • ‘It doesn't matter if the state abetted the swindle by finding the swindler innocent in a fixed trial.’
    • ‘But the federal and state agencies have ZERO interest in the swindle that's being perpetrated.’
    • ‘It was also part of a stock swindle involving hundreds of millions of dollars on the Montreal Stock Exchange.’
    fraud, trick, deception, deceit, trickery, chicanery, exploitation, cheat, imposture, sham, sharp practice, artifice
    View synonyms

Origin

Late 18th century: back-formation from swindler, from German Schwindler ‘extravagant maker of schemes, swindler’, from schwindeln ‘be giddy’, also ‘tell lies’.

Pronunciation

swindle

/ˈswindl//ˈswɪndl/