Definition of cozen in English:



  • 1 Trick or deceive.

    ‘do not think to cozen your contemporaries’
    • ‘Composition rights are subdivided into publishing rights, which record companies often cozen the unsuspecting into signing away.’
    • ‘A pamphlet of 1595 described how one Judith Philips ‘cozened’ a rich man.’
    • ‘There is a foolish country knight, Sir Nicholas Cully, whom two rogues cozen out of £1,000.’
    • ‘To be fair, the book is not a pulp romance, although it cozens its readers with the content of pulp romance.’
    • ‘This is how the deceivers are deceived, for he who can cozen me is shrewd indeed.’
    • ‘A good speech is not full of subtle rhetoric, cozening shifts in vocal tone, and facial nuance.’
    1. 1.1 Obtain by deception.
      ‘he was able to cozen a profit’
      • ‘There, world domination, monetary and military, is cozened.’


Late 16th century: perhaps from obsolete Italian cozzonare to cheat from cozzone middleman, broker from Latin cocio dealer.