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Hoodwink is a word with an interesting history, and it may be older than you think. Like many words with a figurative meaning, hoodwink originally had a literal meaning. We will examine the evolving definition of the word hoodwink, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

Hoodwink means to trick someone, to deceive someone. Hoodwink is a closed compound word, which is a word that is derived from two separate words joined together with no space or hyphen between them. The word hoodwink was first used in the 1500s to mean to block a person’s sight by covering his head with a hood, to blindfold someone. This was a common mode of operation for robbers during the 1500s. The word wink meant at this time to close both eyes, not the current definition which is to close only one eye. By the 1600s the word hoodwink was used figuratively to mean to deceive, somewhat like the term pull the wool over one’s eyes. Hoodwink is a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object. Related words are hoodwinks, hoodwinked, hoodwinking.


The class action lawsuit seems to imply that Baxter and other intravenous-fluid manufacturers were able to “hoodwink” inspectors to post shortage notices, he said. (Investors’ Business Daily)

The President’s announcement of 18 per cent pay rise to low income earners is political gimmick by Jubilee administration to hoodwink voters to give them another five-year term. (The Standard)

He said three masked men, dressed head to toe in black, broke into his home, threatened him and his partner, Camilo Espinel, at gunpoint, hoodwinked them using pillow cases, hogtied them and ransacked the spacious, eight-bedroom, nine-bathroom home. (The Naples Daily News)