E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Cheater (2 syl.)
originally meant an Escheator or officer of the kings exchequer appointed to receive dues and taxes. The present use of the word shows how these officers were wont to fleece the people. (See CATCHPOLE).
Compare with escheator the New Testament word Publicans, or collectors of the Roman tax in Judæa, etc.