- noun a person who acts unfairly in order to win
- verb to act unfairly in order to be successful
- verb to trick someone so that he or she loses money
- noun someone who breaks rules or uses trickery to gain an unfair advantage
- verb to break the rules of a game in an attempt to gain an unfair advantage
Origin & History of “cheat”
Cheat is a reduced form of escheat, a legal term for the reversion of property to the state on the death of the owner without heirs. this came from Old French escheoite, a derivative of the past participle of the verb escheoir ‘befall by chance, happen, devolve’, from vulgar Latin *excadēre ‘fall away’, a compound verb formed from the prefix ex- ‘out’ and Latin cadere ‘fall’ (source of a wide range of English words from case ‘circumstance’ to occasion). The semantic steps leading to the modern English sense of cheat seem to be ‘confiscate’; ‘deprive of something dishonestly’; ‘deceive’.