Main definitions of con in English

: con1con2con3con4con5con6

con1

verb

[WITH OBJECT]informal
  • Persuade (someone) to do or believe something by lying to them:

    ‘I conned him into giving me your home number’
    ‘she was jailed for conning her aunt out of £500,000’
    • ‘The Internet giant has taken almost two weeks to respond to allegations of a scam designed to con its users out of £199.’
    • ‘‘Up is down, and down is up… My feeling is that someone has essentially conned her into believing that she's going to be voting,’ he said.’
    • ‘According to Jevans, it is hard to know how many people are conned by phishing scams.’
    • ‘Governments only need to spend millions of dollars trying to con us into believing that they've done a good job if they haven't.’
    • ‘His exceptional skills at grifting combined with his good looks have allowed him to believe that he can con anybody.’
    • ‘Other crimes involve impersonating international police investigators, snatching purses, and gangs conning tourists into the ever-popular ‘black money scam’.’
    • ‘Also, the trailers and TV ads are conning us into believing that it's about a talking kangaroo.’
    • ‘What happened is some very smart people got conned by the little office conman, and that's what this kid turns out to be.’
    • ‘He is charged with sending spam emails which conned people into believing that they had won millions of dollars in overseas lotteries, or inheritance, or through a business opportunity.’
    • ‘He managed to con people into believing he was an airline pilot, a lawyer and a doctor.’
    • ‘He couldn't believe that he had let Frankie con him into believing him.’
    • ‘Since the beginning of June there have been 39 burglaries in which thieves have conned their way into homes.’
    • ‘Police believe the man conned his way into the 41-year-old victim's house by offering to do building work.’
    • ‘They con the girls into believing they are about to make it onto the front page of every magazine.’
    • ‘It's certainly totally immoral to con people that they have a psychic connection when there is none.’
    • ‘Telephone fraudsters are being foiled in their attempts to con people out of hundreds of pounds.’
    • ‘Most of these reports were of tourists being conned or swindled.’
    • ‘It works the first time, causing the person being conned to believe that the rest of the notes will be cleaned and thus yield a fortune.’
    • ‘Today, she is starting three-and-a-half years behind bars for her latest deceptions, plus six months for trying to con the judge into believing a fish and chip shop was a hospital.’
    • ‘We allow criminals who have stolen or conned people out of their money to retain their assets even though the property that they have taken has not been recovered.’

noun

informal
  • An instance of deceiving or tricking someone:

    ‘the Charter is a glossy public relations con’
    [as modifier] ‘a con artist’
    • ‘I was turning into a regular con artist these days.’
    • ‘A lot of the con artists I've arrested are unbelievably charming.’
    • ‘City of York Trading Standards is often at its busiest in the festive season investigating scams and cons that can spoil many people's Christmas.’
    • ‘Are you deluding yourself or are you a con artist?’
    • ‘This swindle is commonly known as ‘419 fraud,’ after the section of the Nigerian penal code covering cons.’
    • ‘This person could therefore be a successful writer - or con artist.’
    • ‘Homes in Writtle, Chelmsford, Springfield and Purleigh have been targeted with three cons used to trick elderly householders.’
    • ‘I've obviously become rather cynical over time, but then when it comes to card tricks, my first thought these days is to look for the con.’
    • ‘Whatever their merits as science, the UK farm-scale trials risk being remembered as a political con.’
    • ‘It does not lend any credibility to the possibility of Jimmy as a con artist.’
    • ‘Black-cab drivers should beware after a serial fare-dodger escaped a prison sentence last week, despite the brazen cons he pulled on trusting cabbies.’
    • ‘‘He's a con artist, he's evil, he's a very dangerous man,’ she said.’
    • ‘So many complaints about the con, which demands a fee for do-it-yourself services, have been made that the town's Trading Standards section has sent out a new warning to all businesses.’
    • ‘At worst, it seemed to be a species of con game - a conviction bolstered by the steadily rising number of frauds, defalcations and market manipulations.’
    • ‘For those who enjoy movies about heists, cons, and double-crosses, this will satisfy.’
    • ‘Dean's behaviour is just the latest example of the big con many major party politicians engage in.’
    • ‘Many cons and scams (throughout the world) depend on the greed and dishonesty of the victim to help the scam along.’
    • ‘Too bad they are catering to a con artist's conceit.’
    • ‘The ‘money manager’ is actually a second con artist who is complicit in the scam.’
    • ‘Rita suspects a beautiful con artist is really behind it.’
    swindle, deception, trick, racket, bit of sharp practice, fraud
    scam, con trick, sting, gyp, kite, diddle, rip-off, fiddle, swizzle, swizz
    bunco, boondoggle, hustle, grift
    rort
    View synonyms

Origin

Late 19th century (originally US): abbreviation of confidence, as in confidence trick.

Pronunciation:

con

/kɒn/

Main definitions of con in English

: con1con2con3con4con5con6

con2

noun

  • A disadvantage of or argument against something:

    ‘borrowers have to weigh up the pros and cons of each mortgage offer’
    • ‘Headlines tout the pros and cons of stock options in a volatile market.’
    • ‘We see no doubt that the Election Commission came to its decision after bearing in mind the pros and cons of the whole situation.’
    • ‘The increase in decisional balance pros was expected, but the increase in decisional balance cons was not expected based on previous research.’
    • ‘Year in and year out the same comments are trotted out as to the pros and cons of the difficulty of the tests.’
    • ‘If one is balanced one can weigh the pros and cons of particular situations more easily.’
    • ‘There is no real way to predict what any one individual would do in this case, so I think plenty of thought should be given to the pros and cons of the situation.’
    • ‘But then I came here too, and though the cons of the decision greatly outnumbered the pros, at least Halloween was again entertaining.’
    • ‘Hence the report is biased by the opinion of the author, playing down the cons and talking up the pros.’
    • ‘Before launching into the pros and cons of the situation, a little understanding of what constitutes a ‘heart attack’ is in order.’
    • ‘What are the cons of striving for a drug-free workplace?’
    • ‘Besides checking out what's for sale, you can pick up good information on the pros and cons of ownership.’
    • ‘In his mind and on paper, he constantly found himself breaking down the pros and cons of continuing his career.’
    • ‘It is essential, however, that the pros and cons of the currency are thoroughly examined and the arguments presented to Britain's voters in a clear and unbiased manner.’
    • ‘The cons are that you won't be able to see the sun, you can't eat food again, you'll be viewed as a monster by some, an angel by others, and some other things.’
    • ‘In fact, coffee's pros probably outweigh its cons.’
    • ‘Of course, the con to this is that people at the lower end of each division frequently do very well.’
    • ‘As the Walkers argue in their analysis, it is necessary to consider privatisations on a case-by-case basis, looking at the pros and cons in each instance.’
    • ‘It's refreshing to hear an artist sing the pros as opposed to crying the cons of piracy on the Net.’
    • ‘Do you see any potential cons with that kind of set-up?’
    • ‘Reed weighed the pros and cons of the situation.’

Origin

Late 16th century: from Latin contra against.

Pronunciation:

con

/kɒn/

Main definitions of con in English

: con1con2con3con4con5con6

con3

noun

informal
  • A convict:

    ‘you don't snitch to the prison authorities on another con’
    • ‘If you're an ex con, or your other half is currently in the slammer, there's a place on the internet where you can go and talk to others in your situation.’
    • ‘But when Mr Price approached the TV room he was told he ‘could not go in because there was a con in there and two prison officers’.’
    • ‘The cons couldn't move, they were handcuffed to a bar in front of the seat.’
    • ‘Hungry cons will be able to buy snacks at the prison commissary, or perhaps steal food from the weaker inmates..’
    • ‘WooJin grinned, he could almost see the shock on the con's face.’
    • ‘Let all but death row cons and pedophiles join up out of prison for a pardon.’
    • ‘This sassy St-Jovite resident has been teaching cons their Ps and Qs for close to nine years now.’
    • ‘In the film they play escaped cons with bad teeth.’
    • ‘But I think he, like many other cons, didn't really play that sexual identity political game.’
    • ‘Just a day before salvation comes, a burly, angry con assaults Nick and sticks his shiv into Nick's gizzard.’
    • ‘Inmates had their own cells, an improvement over bunking with another con.’
    • ‘There was a sentimental love for an old con, an eager romanticising of gaol and crime and social delinquency.’
    • ‘A prison cell, semi-luxuriant, for a deserving con - and I was in it!’
    • ‘Too many characters and situations are implausible - you surely wouldn't find such a tame, gentle set of cons in any prison.’
    • ‘Although it ditches the politically-charged setting - instead we are given the softer side of these hard-bitten cons - it is lighter and more amusing.’
    • ‘The measure was taken in response to security concerns and is not intended to punish inmates for their fellows cons ' transgressions.’
    • ‘It's a scenario that plunges you back into the time of scratchy movies where the cons wore pyjama suits with black arrows on them and Cagney was king; back to the days of the early crime shows like The Naked City and Dragnet.’
    • ‘Nice, that is, until four loose criminals with submachine guns burst into the prison, overpowered the guards, and robbed their fellow cons.’
    • ‘She doesn't even tell us how many cons are daddies.’
    • ‘At North Sea, cons regularly slip unflattering press cuttings under the door of Archer's cell in a fruitless effort to rile the peer.’

Origin

Late 19th century: abbreviation.

Pronunciation:

con

/kɒn/

Main definitions of con in English

: con1con2con3con4con5con6

con4

verb

[WITH OBJECT]archaic
  • Study attentively or learn by heart (a piece of writing):

    ‘the girls conned their pages with a great show of industry’
    • ‘We hope to show that a logic-based learning method can be applied to less conned learning tasks.’
    • ‘"Set in a notebook, learned & conned by rote" From Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare.’
    • ‘Anyone who does know something about it is more likely to have acquired that knowledge in bits by conning books (however carefully) or taking a few workshops on weekends or for a week in the summer.’

Origin

Middle English cunne, conne, con, variants of can.

Pronunciation:

con

/kɒn/

Main definitions of con in English

: con1con2con3con4con5con6

con5

noun

informal
  • A convention, especially one for science fiction enthusiasts:

    ‘an SF con’
    • ‘Given the way I'm working at the con, I can do an hour a day, every day, signing.’
    • ‘I once asked him if SF fandom had ever been in touch, asked him to a con, or to speak to or read at a meeting, taken him out for a drink…’
    • ‘The IFilm crew has a bevy of videos shot at the con, including their annual rundown of scantily-clad women.’
    • ‘In fact, the whole con website is full of valuable info, including ways to get to the con that you probably didn't think of.’
    • ‘He had met her in a chat room a month before the con.’
    • ‘This done, and for the first time ever, I managed to leave for the con by 10 am fairly sure that everything (so far) was under control.’
    • ‘Colin, despite his general enthusiasm for cons, harbors contempt towards what he considers the illiteracy of many fans.’
    • ‘You do have major conventions in other cities and there's kind of an understanding among some cons not to invade one another's turf.’
    • ‘Finally though, the company could no longer justify the expense and Julie had to either pay his own way or not go to the con.’
    • ‘It was also equally nice to have some new faces at the con, and they were all so well behaved so they can attend next year as well.’
    • ‘I waited until the next con and let the convention officials tell him how it would henceforth be.’
    • ‘Those who are not actively trying to be offended can get through cons by choosing to not spend time at the vendor and guest booths with adult material.’

Origin

1970s: abbreviation.

Pronunciation:

con

/kɒn/

Main definitions of con in English

: con1con2con3con4con5con6

con6

(US conn)

verb

[WITH OBJECT]Nautical
  • Direct the steering of (a ship):

    ‘he hadn't conned anything bigger than a Boston whaler’
    • ‘Together they stood in the foretops and conned the ship in through the seething maelstrom of the equatorial current.’
    • ‘Why is the term ‘bridge’ used to signify the place from where a ship is conned?’
    • ‘Then the lanky, bearded boatswain would take the helm while the captain conned the ship from one bridge wing or the other, with the chief engineer at his elbow’

noun

the con
Nautical
  • The action or post of conning a ship:

    ‘Mr Cargill, take the con’
    • ‘Cursing at the grueling task ahead of her she took out the Panel bolt ejector and began removing the outdated panel from the conn station.’
    • ‘As rapidly as he had walked before, he went to the Directorate, and took the conn.’
    • ‘For example, his combat information center officer and operations officer had the conn through most of the Suez transit.’
    • ‘An announcement came over the intercom: ‘QM1 Grob has the conn.’’
    • ‘In season one episode one, he's simply a conn officer.’
    • ‘Cameron spends most of the film at the conn of a submarine, bathed in powder-blue light.’
    • ‘Jetrel said getting out of the command chair and went over to the conn station.’
    • ‘Now, Mr. Morton, you have the conn and I have to get back to SickBay if I'm to be there when my son is born!’
    • ‘‘Take the con,’ Saffron said, issuing what was probably the first order she'd ever given in her life.’
    • ‘The backup conn console across from Aaron exploded in a shower of sparks.’

Origin

Early 17th century: apparently a weakened form of obsolete cond ‘conduct, guide’, from Old French conduire, from Latin conducere (see conduce).

Pronunciation:

con

/kɒn/