Meaning of grift in English:


Pronunciation /ɡrɪft/


[no object] informal North American
  • Engage in petty or small-scale swindling.

    • ‘how long have you been grifting?’
    • ‘Sooner rather than later, Gus' funds begin to run out, so he begins grifting for money.’
    • ‘His exceptional skills at grifting combined with his good looks have allowed him to believe that he can con anybody.’
    • ‘The #1 rule of grifting is to con the mark in such a way that they don't want to turn you in.’
    • ‘The writer is more interested in the hype and glamour of grifting then in knowing anything about the reality.’
    • ‘There's a lot of grifting online from people who are not really who they claim to be.’
    • ‘Frank Gorshin and Shirley Jones play a con artist couple who have gambled and grifted their way into the good life.’


informal North American
  • A petty or small-scale swindle.

    • ‘a Sixth Avenue palmistry grift’
    • ‘And Martha discovers that there is a dear price to pay for buying into a world of grifts, scams, and dishonesty.’
    • ‘Because the movie is too lazy to set up some grifts, Reilly and Luna are established as out-and-out thieves.’
    • ‘Only when Ann Merai and her husband - along with the hundreds of thousands of dollars - go up in smoke, does Matt realize that he's been entangled in an elaborate grift, where every single clue winds up pointing towards him.’
    • ‘Matchstick Men follows the lives of Roy, a veteran of the grift, and his ambitious protégé, Frank.’
    • ‘A few of his old backers, Richard Perle, Michael Rubin, still remain on the team, but it's pretty clear that for most of his former friends, that the grift is over.’
    • ‘Juan gets caught trying to pull the same grift twice in a convenience store.’
    • ‘The challenge of unpredictable variables, as a matter of fact, is what makes a grift fun.’
    • ‘Back when salesmen were viewed as barely employable con men working some sort of semi-legal grift, the profession was populated almost entirely with drunks.’
    • ‘Because it's basically like a film noir grifter gangster story and Ed's the leader of a con team and they do this complicated grift.’
    • ‘At first you think there's some sort of grift going on, a con of some sort, which McConaughey is going to have to figure out.’
    • ‘Today's favorite grift, he says, is offshore money laundering.’
    • ‘The crooked network, centered in New York City, Chicago and Atlanta, reportedly used several grifts.’
    sham, fraud, pretence, imposture, hoax, fake, misrepresentation, blind, wile, artifice, Trojan horse


Early 20th century alteration of graft.