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con1

[kon] /kɒn/
adverb
1.
against a proposition, opinion, etc.:
arguments pro and con.
noun
2.
the argument, position, arguer, or voter against something.
Compare pro1 .
Origin of con1
1575-1585
1575-85; short for Latin contrā in opposition, against

con2

[kon] /kɒn/
verb (used with object), conned, conning.
1.
to learn; study; peruse or examine carefully.
2.
to commit to memory.
Origin
before 1000; Middle English cunnen, Old English cunnan variant of can1 in sense “become acquainted with, learn to know”

con3

or conn

[kon] /kɒn/ Nautical
verb (used with object), conned, conning.
1.
to direct the steering of (a ship).
noun
2.
the station of the person who cons.
3.
the act of conning.
Origin
1350-1400; earlier cond, apocopated variant of Middle English condie, condue < Middle French cond(u)ire < Latin condūcere to conduct

con4

[kon] /kɒn/ Informal.
adjective
1.
involving abuse of confidence:
a con trick.
verb (used with object), conned, conning.
2.
to swindle; trick:
That crook conned me out of all my savings.
3.
to persuade by deception, cajolery, etc.
noun
4.
a confidence game or swindle.
5.
a lie, exaggeration, or glib self-serving talk:
He had a dozen different cons for getting out of paying traffic tickets.
Origin
1895-1900, Americanism; by shortening of confidence

con5

[kon] /kɒn/
noun, Informal.
1.
a convention, especially one for fans of a particular type of popular culture:
sci-fi, gaming, and anime cons.
Origin
First recorded in 1940-45; by shortening

con6

[kon] /kɒn/
noun, Slang.
1.
a convict.
Origin
First recorded in 1715-25; by shortening

con7

[kon] /kɒn/
verb (used with object), conned, conning. British Dialect.
1.
to strike, hit, or rap (something or someone).
2.
to hammer (a nail or peg).
3.
to beat or thrash a person with the hands or a weapon.
Origin
1890-95; perhaps akin to French cognée hatchet, cogner to knock in, drive (a nail) home

cons.1

1.
(in prescriptions) conserve; keep.
Origin
From the Latin word conservā

cons.2

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for cons
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Gomez now “cons” Slush the steering, he alone having any knowledge of the coast.

  • I must have been a bad example to other "cons," for they began to get as tired as myself.

    The Autobiography of a Thief Hutchins Hapgood
  • cons'kence o' bein' picked up by a ol' German sailin'-'utch an' took to 'Frisco 'fore the mast.

  • Of the cons were all of the fighting generals of the fighting corps, save the 1st.

    The Battle of Gettysburg Frank Aretas Haskell
  • The value of the over-occupation which is produced by the regulating influence of the cons.

    Dream Psychology Sigmund Freud
British Dictionary definitions for cons

Cons.

abbreviation
1.
Conservative
2.
Constitution
3.
Consul

con1

/kɒn/
noun
1.
  1. short for confidence trick
  2. (as modifier): con man
verb cons, conning, conned
2.
(transitive) to swindle or defraud
Word Origin
C19: from confidence

con2

/kɒn/
noun (usually pl)
1.
an argument or vote against a proposal, motion, etc
2.
a person who argues or votes against a proposal, motion, etc
Compare pro1 See also pros and cons
Word Origin
from Latin contrā against, opposed to

con3

/kɒn/
noun
1.
(slang) short for convict

con4

/kɒn/
verb cons, conns, conning, conned
1.
(transitive) to direct the steering of (a vessel)
noun
2.
the place where a person who cons a vessel is stationed
Word Origin
C17 cun, from earlier condien to guide, from Old French conduire, from Latin condūcere; see conduct

con5

/kɒn/
verb cons, conning, conned
1.
(transitive) (archaic) to study attentively or learn (esp in the phrase con by rote)
Word Origin
C15: variant of can1 in the sense: to come to know

con6

/kɒn/
preposition
1.
(music) with
Word Origin
Italian
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cons

con

n.

"negation" (mainly in pro and con), 1570s, short for Latin contra "against" (see contra).

"study," early 15c., from Old English cunnan "to know, know how" (see can (v.1)).

a slang or colloquial shortening of various nouns beginning in con-, e.g., from the 19th century, confidant, conundrum, conformist, convict, contract, and from the 20th century, conductor, conservative.

adj.

"swindling," 1889, American English, from confidence man (1849), from the many scams in which the victim is induced to hand over money as a token of confidence. Confidence with a sense of "assurance based on insufficient grounds" dates from 1590s.

v.

"to guide ships," 1620s, from French conduire "to conduct, lead, guide" (10c.), from Latin conducere (see conduce). Related: Conned; conning.

"to swindle," 1896, from con (adj.). Related: Conned; conning.

con

n.2

"study," early 15c., from Old English cunnan "to know, know how" (see can (v.1)).

con

adj.

"swindling," 1889, American English, from confidence man (1849), from the many scams in which the victim is induced to hand over money as a token of confidence. Confidence with a sense of "assurance based on insufficient grounds" dates from 1590s.

con

v.1

"to guide ships," 1620s, from French conduire "to conduct, lead, guide" (10c.), from Latin conducere (see conduce). Related: Conned; conning.

con

v.2

"to swindle," 1896, from con (adj.). Related: Conned; conning.

con

n.3

a slang or colloquial shortening of various nouns beginning in con-, e.g., from the 19th century, confidant, conundrum, conformist, convict, contract, and from the 20th century, conductor, conservative.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for cons

cons

Related Terms

mod cons

con 1

noun

A convict or former convict; prison inmate: You're a ''con,'' you've no rights (1893+)

con 2

noun

  1. scam: It's a clever con and you're a greedy rat
  2. A dishonest sort of persuasion; put-on: a slick young man with a line of deferential con (1900s+)

verb

  1. To swindle; work a confidence game: We conned the old fart out of three big ones (1896+)
  2. : He conned her into thinking he'd marry her
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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