Definitions

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

  • adv. In opposition or disagreement; against: debated the issue pro and con.
  • n. An argument or opinion against something.
  • n. One who holds an opposing opinion or view.
  • transitive v. To study, peruse, or examine carefully.
  • transitive v. To learn or commit to memory.
  • transitive v. To direct the steering or course of (a vessel).
  • n. The station or post of the person who steers a vessel.
  • n. The act or process of steering a vessel.
  • transitive v. To swindle (a victim) by first winning his or her confidence; dupe.
  • n. A swindle.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or involving a swindle or fraud: a con artist; a con job.
  • n. Slang A convict.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A disadvantage of something, especially when contrasted with its advantages (pros).
  • n. A convicted criminal, a convict.
  • n. A fraud; something carried out with the intention of deceiving, usually for personal, often illegal, gain.
  • v. To trick or defraud, usually for personal gain.
  • v. To give the necessary orders to the helmsman to steer a ship in the required direction through a channel etc. (rather than steer a compass direction)
  • n. The navigational direction of a ship
  • n. An organized gathering such as a convention or conference.
  • v. To study, especially in order to gain knowledge of.
  • v. To know, understand, acknowledge.
  • v. Variant spelling of conn: to conduct the movements of a ship at sea.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adv. Against the affirmative side; in opposition; on the negative side; -- The antithesis of pro, and usually in connection with it. See pro.
  • transitive v. To know; to understand; to acknowledge.
  • transitive v. To study in order to know; to peruse; to learn; to commit to memory; to regard studiously.
  • transitive v. To conduct, or superintend the steering of (a vessel); to watch the course of (a vessel) and direct the helmsman how to steer.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • A dialectal or obsolete variant of can.
  • To try; attempt (to do a thing).
  • To try; examine; test; taste.
  • To peruse carefully and attentively; study or pore over; learn: as, to con a lesson: often with over.
  • Nautical: To direct (the man at the helm of a vessel) how to steer.
  • To give orders for the steering of: as, to con a ship.
  • Short for ‘confidence’: as a con man; a con game. See confidence man, confidence game (under confidence).
  • An abbreviation of Consul
  • [lowercase] of conclusion.
  • n. Naut.: The position taken by the person who cons or directs the steering of a vessel.
  • n. The act of conning.
  • n. A variant of can, for gan, preterit of gin, begin. See can, gin.
  • n. An abbreviation of the Latin contra, against (see contra), especially common in the phrase pro and con (Latin pro et contra), for and against, in favor of and opposed to: sometimes used as a noun, with a plural, the pros and cons, the arguments, or arguers, or voters, for and against a proposition.
  • n. The most frequent form of com-.

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

  • v. deprive of by deceit
  • adv. in opposition to a proposition, opinion, etc.
  • n. an argument opposed to a proposal
  • n. a person serving a sentence in a jail or prison
  • v. commit to memory; learn by heart
  • n. a swindle in which you cheat at gambling or persuade a person to buy worthless property

Etymologies

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

Short for contra.
Middle English connen, to know, from Old English cunnan; see gnō- in Indo-European roots.
From cond, from Middle English conduen, from Old French conduire, from Latin condūcere, to lead together; see conduce.
Short for confidence.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English connen, from Old English cunnan ("to know, know how"). More at can.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Abbreviation of Latin contra ("against").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Shortened from convict.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From con trick, shortened from confidence trick.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From earlier cond, from Middle English conduen, from Old French conduire, from Latin condūcere, present active infinitive of condūcō ("draw together; conduct").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Abbreviation of convention or conference

Examples

Comments

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  • In the sense of deceit has been ruled unparliamentary language by the Speaker of the House of Commons during a debate, in October 2013, in which the prime minister apparently accused the leader of the opposition of using dubious reasoning.

    October 30, 2013

  • Cunt in French. Not very much a taboo, and not a very strong word. There's even an affectionate insult like: vieux con, old fool. Le roi des cons, "king of cunts" implies to a total idiot, while Quelle connerie! means "What rubbish!".

    Catherine Blackledge: The story of V.

    March 6, 2008