Word of the Day – Hoodwink

Word of the Day : January 17, 2023


verb HOOD-wink

What It Means

  • Hoodwink means “to deceive or trick someone.”
  • // The salesperson hoodwinked us into buying items that weren’t on our shopping list.
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“A financial advisor’s credentials can be helpful, but beware—sometimes, less scrupulous financial advisors will use irrelevant or fraudulent qualifications to hoodwink clients.” — Ashley Kilroy, Yahoo Finance, 14 Aug. 2022

Did You Know?

We usually use the word wink to refer to a brief shutting of one eye, but hoodwink draws on an older and more obscure meaning of wink covered in our Unabridged Dictionary: “to close one’s eyes.” To hoodwink someone originally was to effectively do that kind of winking for the person; it meant to “cover someone’s eyes,” as with a hood or a blindfold. This 16th-century term soon came to be used figuratively for veiling the truth. “The public … is as easily hood-winked,” wrote the Irish physician Charles Lucas in 1756, by which time the figurative use had been around for decades—and today, that meaning of the word is far from winking out.