Green’s Dictionary of Slang

cheat n.

[OE chete, a thing]

1. a thing; usu. in combs., e.g. grunting-cheat n.; quacking cheat n.; smelling-cheat n.

[UK]Harman Caveat for Common Cursetours in Viles & Furnivall (1907) 86: Now we have well bous, let us strike some chete Nowe we have well dronke let us steale some thinge.
[UK]Dekker Lanthorne and Candle-Light Ch. 1: Which word cheate being coupled to other wordes, stands in very good stead, and does excellent service: For a Smelling cheate, fignifies a Nofe : a Pratling chete, is a tongue.
[UK]Jonson Gypsies Metamorphosed 4: ’Tis thought fit he marche in the Infants Equipage With the convoy cheates, and peckage out of the clutch of Harman-beckage, to theire Libkens at the Crackmans or some skipper of the Black-mans.
[UK]Head Eng. Rogue I 51: Quacking cheat, A Duck.
[UK]R. Holme Academy of Armory Ch. iii item 68c: Canting Terms used by Beggars, Vagabonds, Cheaters, Cripples and Bedlams. [...] Cheat, a stollen thing: but the word Cheat joined to others, hath then a variable signification, a Nab cheat, a Hat, or Cap, &c.
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Strike all the Cheats, c. Rob all you meet.
[UK]J. Shirley Triumph of Wit 194: Rum-hooper, tip us presently a Boosing-cheat of Rum gutlers [Drawer, fill us presently a Bottle of the best Canary].
[UK]Defoe Street Robberies Considered 30: Ba Cheat, a Sheep, Belly Cheat, Apron.
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict.
[UK]Scoundrel’s Dict. 15: A Bottle – Boozing cheat.
[UK]A. McCormick Tinkler-Gypsies of Galloway 104: The following words appear to be still in use in one form or another amongst Galwegian tinkler-gypsies – Cheat (pronounced chaet) – A thing.

2. a stolen thing.

[UK]Harman Caveat for Common Cursetours.
[UK]Tyde taryeth no Man in Collier (1863) II 47: But, cosen Cutpurse, if ought thou do get, / I pray thee let me haue part of thy cheate. / I meane not of thy hanging fare, / But of thy purse, and filched share.
[UK]Dekker ‘Canting Song’ O per se O O1: To Strawling [sic] Ken, the Mort bings then to fetch lowre for her cheats.
[UK] ‘A Wenches complaint for . . . her lusty Rogue’ Head Canting Academy (1674) 17: Duds and cheats thou oft hast won.
[UK]‘Rum-Mort’s Praise of Her Faithless Maunder’ in Farmer Musa Pedestris (1896) 36: [as cit. a.1674].

3. (UK und.) a portion, a measure.

[UK]J. Taylor Crabtree Lectures 191: Mort. Ile tell thee queere Cove, thou must maund at the Gigger for Pannum and Casum, or a cheat of queere bowse, or Kacklen Cheate, and whid rumpsie.

4. see chats n.1