1. (verb) To deceive, cheat, or trick someone, often in a humorous or mischievous way. It can also refer to getting the better of someone through clever manipulation or by taking advantage of their gullibility.


The wily salesman managed to hornswoggle the unsuspecting customer into buying a dozen overpriced vacuum cleaners, promising him a once-in-a-lifetime deal that was simply too good to pass up.

Fun Fact

The etymology of “hornswoggle” is a bit of a mystery, but it is believed to have originated in the United States during the early 19th century. One theory suggests that it may be derived from the Scottish word “foozle,” meaning to bungle or botch something, combined with the word “horn,” possibly referring to the act of trumping or outplaying someone.