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confidence game

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noun
  1. any swindle in which the swindler, after gaining the confidence of the victim, robs the victim by cheating at a gambling game, appropriating funds entrusted for investment, or the like.

Origin of confidence game

An Americanism dating back to 1855–60
Also called, British, confidence trick.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for confidence game

Historical Examples

  • The state attorney's office co-operates with us by enforcing the confidence-game statute.

    A Stake in the Land

    Peter Alexander Speek


Idioms and Phrases with confidence game

confidence game

Also, confidence trick; con game. A swindle in which the victim is defrauded after his or her trust has been won. For example, The police warned of a confidence game in which people were asked to turn over valuables for a so-called appraisal, or The typical confidence trick is easy to spot if you know what to look for, or I almost let myself be taken in by her con game—she seemed so sincere. These terms, which use confidence in the sense of “trust,” date from the mid-1800s. They also gave rise to confidence man (or con man) for the swindler.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.