Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To mislead by means of a petty trick or fraud; deceive.
  • transitive v. To persuade or induce to do something by cajoling or wheedling.
  • transitive v. To obtain by deceit or persuasion.
  • intransitive v. To act deceitfully.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To cheat; to defraud; to beguile; to deceive, usually by small arts, or in a pitiful way.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To deceive; to cheat; to act deceitfully.
  • transitive v. To cheat; to defraud; to beguile; to deceive, usually by small arts, or in a pitiful way.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To cheat; defraud.
  • To deceive; beguile; entice.
  • To practise cheating; act dishonestly or deceitfully.
  • n. An obsolete spelling of cousin.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. be false to; be dishonest with
  • v. cheat or trick
  • v. act with artful deceit

Etymologies

Perhaps from Middle English cosin, fraud, trickery.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Origin uncertain. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Mrs. Pierce to the King's Head and there spent a piece upon a supper for her and mighty merry and pretty discourse, she being as pretty as ever, most of our mirth being upon "my Cozen" (meaning my Lord Bruncker's ugly mistress, whom he calls cozen), and to my trouble she tells me that the fine Mrs. Middleton is noted for carrying about her body a continued sour base smell, that is very offensive, especially if she be a little hot.

    Diary of Samuel Pepys — Complete

  • Bruncker's ugly mistress, whom he calls cozen), and to my trouble she tells me that the fine Mrs. Middleton is noted for carrying about her body

    Diary of Samuel Pepys — Volume 39: October 1665

  • Vane to "cozen" the Scottish Presbyterian Commissioners in the phraseology of the Solemn League and Covenant; with Samuel Vassall, whose name shares with those of Hampden and Lord Say and Sele the renown of the refusal to pay ship-money, and of courting the suit which might ruin them or emancipate England; with John Venn, who, at the head of six thousand citizens, beset the House of Lords during the trial of Lord Strafford, and whom, with three other Londoners, King

    Great Epochs in American History, Vol. II The Planting Of The First Colonies: 1562—1733

  • But if you have money enough for finer clothes and high-toned lodgings, then you might be planning to cozen the rich or insinuate yourself into society or spy on the powerful or throw money around without necessarily making sure some of it goes into the pockets of the powerful.

    Pathfinder

  • Time will tell, but the lesson to be learned is not to trust, cozen or praise the denialists.

    Slamming the Overton window shut

  • There is no help for it but that I cozen him into divorcing me.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • So we believed him and he ceased not to cozen us till he cast us into jail and fettered us and tortured us with exceeding sore torments; and we are strangers in the land and have no helper save Almighty Allah and our lord the

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • A place, according to [352] Anacharsis, wherein they cozen one another, a trap; nay, what's the world itself?

    Anatomy of Melancholy

  • To see a man protest friendship, kiss his hand, [366] quem mallet truncatum videre, [367] smile with an intent to do mischief, or cozen him whom he salutes, [368] magnify his friend unworthy with hyperbolical eulogiums; his enemy albeit a good man, to vilify and disgrace him, yea all his actions, with the utmost that livor and malice can invent.

    Anatomy of Melancholy

  • How many senators do you think our pretty pair will cozen into going with them?

    Antony and Cleopatra

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Comments

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  • Isn't that ti?

    April 24, 2010

  • I don't know why, but this word always makes me think of jam and bread.

    April 24, 2010


  • My lord, my lord, love will not always last,
    When urged with long unkindness and disdain:
    Take her again, whom you prefer to me;
    She stays but to be called. Poor cozened man!

    - John Dryden, 'All for Love'.

    September 20, 2009

  • Citation on pettifog.

    September 19, 2008