Find accurate definitions of over 5,000 Catholic terms and phrases (including abbreviations). Based on Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.
A deliberate effort to conceal the truth, whether in speech, writing, or action. It is commonly said to spring from avarice, which offends against justice. But it may also be the result of pride, where a person's lack of humility leads him to act deceitfully in order to obtain or maintain a false recognition from others. In canon law, those who enter a novitiate by deceit enter invalidly. And in general an action entered into through deceit may be declared null and void and indemnity may be obtained.