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Words used to describe dishonest people and behaviour - thesaurus

Synonyms

clever

adjective

good at achieving what you want, especially by using unusual or slightly dishonest methods

dubious

adjective

not completely good, safe, or honest

corrupt

adjective

doing dishonest, illegal, or immoral things in order to gain money or power

dishonest

adjective

willing to do things that are not honest, for example tell lies or steal things

cunning

adjective

someone who is cunning uses their intelligence to get what they want, especially by tricking or cheating people

devious

adjective

dishonest and clever

fraudulent

adjective

made with the intention of tricking someone, especially illegally

unscrupulous

adjective

willing to do things that are unfair, dishonest, or illegal

unworthy

adjective

dishonest, or morally wrong

sketchy

adjective

informal dishonest or not reliable

unsportsmanlike

adjective

showing disapproval unfair or not respectful towards other players when playing sports

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More synonyms

artful

adjective

skilled at achieving an effect or getting something from people, especially in a dishonest way

bent

adjective

Britishinformal dishonest

butter wouldn’t melt in someone’s mouth

used for saying that someone looks as if they are very good and would never do anything wrong, although in fact they would

conniving

adjective

dishonest in a clever way, especially in order to get something that you want or in order to harm someone

corruptible

adjective

capable of being corrupted

crafty

adjective

good at getting what you want, especially in a slightly dishonest way

crafty

adjective

used about someone’s behaviour or actions

crooked

adjective

informal dishonest and likely to do illegal things, especially in order to get money

cunning

adjective

used about people’s behaviour, actions, or ideas

deceitful

adjective

behaving dishonestly in order to trick people

deceptive

adjective

trying to trick someone by telling them something that is not true

devious

adjective

used about people’s behaviour

disreputable

adjective

not respected, and considered dishonest or illegal

dodgy

adjective

Britishinformal dishonest, criminal, or not reliable

duplicitous

adjective

formal behaving dishonestly in order to trick someone

evasive

adjective

not talking or answering questions in an honest way

faithless

adjective

mainly literary not loyal or honest

fast-talking

adjective

talking very quickly, especially in order to trick someone or to persuade them to buy something

fly-by-night

adjective

informal a fly-by-night company or businessman cannot be trusted because they are dishonest or may fail

foxy

adjective

good at tricking or cheating people

funny

adjective

dishonest, or illegal

grubby

adjective

dishonest and morally bad

in cahoots (with someone)

secretly involved with someone in a dishonest activity or plan

light-fingered

adjective

someone who is light-fingered often steals things

lousy

adjective

informal used about an unpleasant or dishonest person

low

adjective

unfair, or dishonest

lowdown

adjective

mainly Americaninformal unfair, unpleasant, or dishonest

Machiavellian

adjective

using clever tricks and dishonest methods to achieve an aim, especially in politics

manipulative

adjective

showing disapproval someone who is manipulative makes people do what they want by influencing them in a clever or dishonest way

mendacious

adjective

very formal not telling the truth

shabby

adjective

not fair, or not honest

sharp

adjective

informal dishonest and good at tricking people

shifty

adjective

informal looking dishonest

shonky

adjective

Australianvery informal dishonest, not reliable, or of bad quality

sleazy

adjective

dishonest, or immoral

slippery

adjective

informal someone who is slippery is clever but dishonest, so that you cannot trust them

sly

adjective

showing disapproval clever at tricking people or at secretly doing unfair or dishonest things

sneaky

adjective

doing or saying things secretly, often in a dishonest or unfair way. This word shows that you dislike people and behaviour like this

thieving

adjective

informal behaving like a thief

tricky

adjective

informal a tricky person is likely to use dishonest tricks

under/by false pretences

if you get something under false pretences, you get it by tricking people

unprincipled

adjective

willing to use dishonest or unfair methods in order to get what you want

untruthful

adjective

not honest or true

venal

adjective

very formal dishonest and ready to do anything in order to get money

wily

adjective

clever and willing to trick people in order to get what you want

BuzzWord

gaslight

to manipulate someone psychologically so that they begin to question their own perceptions and memories

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

Dunning-Kruger effect

the phenomenon by which an incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence

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