verb (used with object)
- to deprive of a right, money, or property by fraud: Dishonest employees defrauded the firm of millions of dollars.
- (tr) to take away or withhold money, rights, property, etc, from (a person) by fraud; cheat; swindle
mid-14c., from Old French defrauder, from Latin defraudare “to defraud, cheat,” from de- “thoroughly” (see de-) + fraudare (see fraud). Related: Defrauded; defrauding.