Main definitions of con in English

: con1con2con3con4con5con6

con1

verb

[WITH OBJECT]informal
  • Persuade (someone) to do or believe something, typically by use of a deception.

    ‘I conned him into giving me your home number’
    ‘she was jailed for conning her aunt out of $500,000’
    • ‘It's certainly totally immoral to con people that they have a psychic connection when there is none.’
    • ‘Most of these reports were of tourists being conned or swindled.’
    • ‘His exceptional skills at grifting combined with his good looks have allowed him to believe that he can con anybody.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He couldn't believe that he had let Frankie con him into believing him.’
    • ‘He managed to con people into believing he was an airline pilot, a lawyer and a doctor.’
    • ‘Telephone fraudsters are being foiled in their attempts to con people out of hundreds of pounds.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Since the beginning of June there have been 39 burglaries in which thieves have conned their way into homes.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘What happened is some very smart people got conned by the little office conman, and that's what this kid turns out to be.’
    • ‘‘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.’
    • ‘The Internet giant has taken almost two weeks to respond to allegations of a scam designed to con its users out of £199.’
    • ‘Police believe the man conned his way into the 41-year-old victim's house by offering to do building work.’
    • ‘According to Jevans, it is hard to know how many people are conned by phishing scams.’
    • ‘Also, the trailers and TV ads are conning us into believing that it's about a talking kangaroo.’
    • ‘They con the girls into believing they are about to make it onto the front page of every magazine.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Other crimes involve impersonating international police investigators, snatching purses, and gangs conning tourists into the ever-popular ‘black money scam’.’

noun

informal
  • An instance of deceiving or tricking someone.

    ‘when depositors, realizing that the whole thing is a con, demand repayment’
    [as modifier] ‘a con artist’
    • ‘Whatever their merits as science, the UK farm-scale trials risk being remembered as a political con.’
    • ‘I was turning into a regular con artist these days.’
    • ‘Dean's behaviour is just the latest example of the big con many major party politicians engage in.’
    • ‘Rita suspects a beautiful con artist is really behind it.’
    • ‘For those who enjoy movies about heists, cons, and double-crosses, this will satisfy.’
    • ‘It does not lend any credibility to the possibility of Jimmy as a con artist.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The ‘money manager’ is actually a second con artist who is complicit in the scam.’
    • ‘Too bad they are catering to a con artist's conceit.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This person could therefore be a successful writer - or 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.’
    • ‘Many cons and scams (throughout the world) depend on the greed and dishonesty of the victim to help the scam along.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A lot of the con artists I've arrested are unbelievably charming.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘‘He's a con artist, he's evil, he's a very dangerous man,’ she said.’
    • ‘Homes in Writtle, Chelmsford, Springfield and Purleigh have been targeted with three cons used to trick elderly householders.’
    • ‘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.’
    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

/kän/

Main definitions of con in English

: con1con2con3con4con5con6

con2

noun

  • A disadvantage.

    ‘borrowers have to weigh up the pros and cons of each mortgage offer’
    • ‘What are the cons of striving for a drug-free workplace?’
    • ‘The increase in decisional balance pros was expected, but the increase in decisional balance cons was not expected based on previous research.’
    • ‘It's refreshing to hear an artist sing the pros as opposed to crying the cons of piracy on the Net.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In fact, coffee's pros probably outweigh its cons.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Reed weighed the pros and cons of the situation.’
    • ‘Headlines tout the pros and cons of stock options in a volatile market.’
    • ‘Besides checking out what's for sale, you can pick up good information on the pros and cons of ownership.’
    • ‘Do you see any potential cons with that kind of set-up?’
    • ‘We see no doubt that the Election Commission came to its decision after bearing in mind the pros and cons of the whole situation.’
    • ‘Before launching into the pros and cons of the situation, a little understanding of what constitutes a ‘heart attack’ is in order.’
    • ‘In his mind and on paper, he constantly found himself breaking down the pros and cons of continuing his career.’
    • ‘Of course, the con to this is that people at the lower end of each division frequently do very well.’

Origin

Late 16th century: from Latin contra against.

Pronunciation:

con

/kän/

Main definitions of con in English

: con1con2con3con4con5con6

con3

noun

informal
  • A convict.

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

Origin

Late 19th century: abbreviation.

Pronunciation:

con

/kän/

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’
    • ‘"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.’
    • ‘We hope to show that a logic-based learning method can be applied to less conned learning tasks.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation:

con

/kän/

Main definitions of con in English

: con1con2con3con4con5con6

con5

noun

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

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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…’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He had met her in a chat room a month before the con.’
    • ‘Colin, despite his general enthusiasm for cons, harbors contempt towards what he considers the illiteracy of many fans.’
    • ‘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.’

Origin

1940s: abbreviation.

Pronunciation:

con

/kän/

Main definitions of con in English

: con1con2con3con4con5con6

con6

  • variant spelling of conn
    • ‘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’
    • ‘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?’

Pronunciation:

con

/kän/