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

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

Perhaps from cullion.

Examples

Comments

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  • (noun) - (1) One that maintains a mistress, and parts with money generously to her.

    --B.E.'s Dictionary of the Canting Crew, 1699

    (2) A companion, mate. One who is cheated or imposed upon by a sharper, strumpet, etc. One easily deceived. Much in use in the 17th century . . . Compare Italian coglionare, "to foist, to deceive."

    --Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1908

    January 14, 2018

  • 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