Definitions

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

  • n. A fool or dupe.
  • transitive v. To fool; cheat.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A person who is easily tricked or imposed on; a dupe, a gullible person.
  • n. A companion.
  • v. To trick, to impose on, to dupe.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A person easily deceived, tricked, or imposed on; a mean dupe; a gull.
  • transitive v. To trick, cheat, or impose on; to deceive.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To deceive; trick, cheat, or impose upon; jilt; gull.
  • n. A fellow; a “cove”; especially, a verdant fellow who is easily deceived, tricked, or imposed on, as by a sharper, jilt, or strumpet; a mean dupe.

Etymologies

Perhaps from cullion.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

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  • Suppose, for instance, that an actor gets drunk and makes a fool of himself; or an actress gets hold of a rich cully and makes a fool of him! The green-room is sure to ring with all the particulars, and a few more than are true.

    - Lesage, The Adventures of Gil Blas of Santillane, tr. Smollett, bk 5 ch. 1

    September 19, 2008