- Date: 14th century
- 1 a : deceit, trickery; specifically : intentional perversion of truth in order to induce another to part with something of value or to surrender a legal right
- b : an act of deceiving or misrepresenting : trick
- 2 a : a person who is not what he or she pretends to be : impostor; also : one who defrauds : cheat
- b : one that is not what it seems or is represented to be
The specific legal definition varies by legal jurisdiction. Fraud is a crime, and also a civil law violation. Defrauding people or entities of money or valuables is a common purpose of fraud, but there have also been fraudulent "discoveries", e.g. in science, to gain prestige rather than immediate monetary gain.