noun

informal
  • An instance of deceiving or tricking someone.

    ‘the Charter is a glossy public relations con’
    as modifier ‘a con artist’
    • ‘This person could therefore be a successful writer - or con artist.’
    • ‘Many cons and scams (throughout the world) depend on the greed and dishonesty of the victim to help the scam along.’
    • ‘Rita suspects a beautiful con artist is really behind it.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This swindle is commonly known as ‘419 fraud,’ after the section of the Nigerian penal code covering cons.’
    • ‘The ‘money manager’ is actually a second con artist who is complicit in the scam.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Homes in Writtle, Chelmsford, Springfield and Purleigh have been targeted with three cons used to trick elderly householders.’
    • ‘For those who enjoy movies about heists, cons, and double-crosses, this will satisfy.’
    • ‘I was turning into a regular con artist these days.’
    • ‘Are you deluding yourself or are you a con artist?’
    • ‘Whatever their merits as science, the UK farm-scale trials risk being remembered as a political con.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It does not lend any credibility to the possibility of Jimmy as a con artist.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Too bad they are catering to a con artist's conceit.’
    • ‘A lot of the con artists I've arrested are unbelievably charming.’
    • ‘‘He's a con artist, he's evil, he's a very dangerous man,’ she said.’
    • ‘Dean's behaviour is just the latest example of the big con many major party politicians engage in.’
    swindle, deception, trick, racket, bit of sharp practice, fraud
    View synonyms

Main definitions of con in English

: con1con2con3

con1

noun

  • A disadvantage of or argument against something.

    ‘borrowers have to weigh up the pros and cons of each mortgage offer’
    • ‘We see no doubt that the Election Commission came to its decision after bearing in mind the pros and cons of the whole situation.’
    • ‘In his mind and on paper, he constantly found himself breaking down the pros and cons of continuing his career.’
    • ‘The increase in decisional balance pros was expected, but the increase in decisional balance cons was not expected based on previous research.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Of course, the con to this is that people at the lower end of each division frequently do very well.’
    • ‘Reed weighed the pros and cons of the situation.’
    • ‘What are the cons of striving for a drug-free workplace?’
    • ‘If one is balanced one can weigh the pros and cons of particular situations more easily.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But then I came here too, and though the cons of the decision greatly outnumbered the pros, at least Halloween was again entertaining.’
    • ‘Besides checking out what's for sale, you can pick up good information on the pros and cons of ownership.’
    • ‘In fact, coffee's pros probably outweigh its cons.’
    • ‘Headlines tout the pros and cons of stock options in a volatile market.’
    • ‘Year in and year out the same comments are trotted out as to the pros and cons of the difficulty of the tests.’
    • ‘Do you see any potential cons with that kind of set-up?’
    • ‘Before launching into the pros and cons of the situation, a little understanding of what constitutes a ‘heart attack’ is in order.’
    • ‘Hence the report is biased by the opinion of the author, playing down the cons and talking up the pros.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It's refreshing to hear an artist sing the pros as opposed to crying the cons of piracy on the Net.’
    • ‘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.’

Origin

Late 16th century: from Latin contra ‘against’.

Pronunciation

con

/kɒn/

Main definitions of con in English

: con1con2con3

con2

noun

informal
  • A convict.

    ‘you don't snitch to the prison authorities on another con’
    • ‘The measure was taken in response to security concerns and is not intended to punish inmates for their fellows cons ' transgressions.’
    • ‘WooJin grinned, he could almost see the shock on the con's face.’
    • ‘Just a day before salvation comes, a burly, angry con assaults Nick and sticks his shiv into Nick's gizzard.’
    • ‘She doesn't even tell us how many cons are daddies.’
    • ‘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’.’
    • ‘Hungry cons will be able to buy snacks at the prison commissary, or perhaps steal food from the weaker inmates..’
    • ‘This sassy St-Jovite resident has been teaching cons their Ps and Qs for close to nine years now.’
    • ‘A prison cell, semi-luxuriant, for a deserving con - and I was in it!’
    • ‘Inmates had their own cells, an improvement over bunking with another con.’
    • ‘Let all but death row cons and pedophiles join up out of prison for a pardon.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But I think he, like many other cons, didn't really play that sexual identity political game.’
    • ‘The cons couldn't move, they were handcuffed to a bar in front of the seat.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In the film they play escaped cons with bad teeth.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There was a sentimental love for an old con, an eager romanticising of gaol and crime and social delinquency.’
    • ‘At North Sea, cons regularly slip unflattering press cuttings under the door of Archer's cell in a fruitless effort to rile the peer.’
    • ‘Nice, that is, until four loose criminals with submachine guns burst into the prison, overpowered the guards, and robbed their fellow cons.’
    • ‘Too many characters and situations are implausible - you surely wouldn't find such a tame, gentle set of cons in any prison.’

Origin

Late 19th century: abbreviation.

Pronunciation

con

/kɒn/

Main definitions of con in English

: con1con2con3

con3

noun

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

    ‘an SF con’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The IFilm crew has a bevy of videos shot at the con, including their annual rundown of scantily-clad women.’
    • ‘I waited until the next con and let the convention officials tell him how it would henceforth be.’
    • ‘Colin, despite his general enthusiasm for cons, harbors contempt towards what he considers the illiteracy of many fans.’
    • ‘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…’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Given the way I'm working at the con, I can do an hour a day, every day, signing.’
    • ‘He had met her in a chat room a month before 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.’
    • ‘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.’

Origin

1970s: abbreviation.

Pronunciation

con

/kɒn/

noun

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

    ‘Mr Cargill, take the con’
    ‘I quickly took the conn and restored the channel course’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Cameron spends most of the film at the conn of a submarine, bathed in powder-blue light.’
    • ‘An announcement came over the intercom: ‘QM1 Grob has the conn.’’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In season one episode one, he's simply a conn officer.’
    • ‘Jetrel said getting out of the command chair and went over to the conn station.’
    • ‘The backup conn console across from Aaron exploded in a shower of sparks.’