Etymology
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hoax

1796 (v.) "ridicule; deceive with a fabrication," 1808 (n.), probably an alteration of hocus "conjurer, juggler" (1630s), also "a cheat, impostor" (1680s); or else directly from hocus-pocus. Related: Hoaxed; hoaxing.

updated on July 30, 2015

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Definitions of hoax from WordNet
1
hoax (v.)
subject to a playful hoax or joke;
Synonyms: pull someone's leg / play a joke on
2
hoax (n.)
something intended to deceive; deliberate trickery intended to gain an advantage;
Synonyms: fraud / fraudulence / dupery / humbug / put-on
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.