One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
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’
swindle, defraud, cheat, trick, fleece, dupe, deceive, rook, exploit, squeeze, milk, bleedView synonyms
- ‘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.’
- ‘Also, the trailers and TV ads are conning us into believing that it's about a talking kangaroo.’
- ‘Other crimes involve impersonating international police investigators, snatching purses, and gangs conning tourists into the ever-popular ‘black money scam’.’
- ‘It's certainly totally immoral to con people that they have a psychic connection when there is none.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘They con the girls into believing they are about to make it onto the front page of every magazine.’
- ‘According to Jevans, it is hard to know how many people are conned by phishing scams.’
- ‘Most of these reports were of tourists being conned or swindled.’
- ‘Police believe the man conned his way into the 41-year-old victim's house by offering to do building work.’
- ‘‘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.’
- ‘Telephone fraudsters are being foiled in their attempts to con people out of hundreds of pounds.’
- ‘What happened is some very smart people got conned by the little office conman, and that's what this kid turns out to be.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘He managed to con people into believing he was an airline pilot, a lawyer and a doctor.’
- ‘The Internet giant has taken almost two weeks to respond to allegations of a scam designed to con its users out of £199.’
- ‘He couldn't believe that he had let Frankie con him into believing him.’
- ‘His exceptional skills at grifting combined with his good looks have allowed him to believe that he can con anybody.’
Late 19th century (originally US): abbreviation of confidence, as in confidence trick.
Study attentively or learn by heart (a piece of writing)‘the children conned their pages with a great show of industry’
- ‘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.’
- ‘"Set in a notebook, learned & conned by rote" From Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare.’
- ‘We hope to show that a logic-based learning method can be applied to less conned learning tasks.’
Middle English cunne, conne, con, variants of can.
Direct the steering of (a ship)‘he hadn't conned anything bigger than a Boston whaler’
- ‘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?’
Early 17th century: apparently a weakened form of obsolete cond ‘conduct, guide’, from Old French conduire, from Latin conducere (see conduce).
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