Main definitions of con in English

: con1con2con3

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.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation:

con

/kɒn/

Main definitions of con in English

: con1con2con3

con2

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

: con1con2con3

con3

(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’

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/