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[kuhz-uh n] /ˈkʌz ən/
verb (used with or without object)
to cheat, deceive, or trick.
Origin of cozen
1565-75; perhaps < Old North French coçonner to resell, verbal derivative of coçon retailer (< Latin coctiōnem, accusative of coctiō, cōciō dealer), influenced by Middle French cousin dupe, literally, cousin
Related forms
cozener, noun
cozeningly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for cozening
Historical Examples
  • I will have no gallivanting, no cozening and smiling and prating and distracting.

    Desert Dust Edwin L. Sabin
  • I am only glad that he did not succeed in cozening you further than he did.

    The Belton Estate

    Anthony Trollope
  • A fine life thou hast of it with thy silks and thy baubles, cozening the last few shillings from the pouches of dying men.

    The White Company Arthur Conan Doyle
  • You know I never get or save anything by cozening or classmating.

  • A real expert in cozening, a master of guile, was wanted to exploit the opportunity to its limit.

    She Stands Accused Victor MacClure
  • I have made a scurvy bargain: art a cozening knave, I doubt, as well as a nincompoop.'

  • Struggle forces upon the group the necessity of cozening, beguiling, managing its members.

  • Add not new crimes by cozening me anew; for I shall find out truth, though it lie hid even in the bottom of Philander's, heart.'

  • But even the basest of the yokels and groundlings could not make merry over the cozening of so noble a gentleman!

    The Ordeal Charles Egbert Craddock
  • Within one moment they would be round and artless like a child's, and long and cozening like a gypsy's.

    Roads of Destiny

    O. Henry
British Dictionary definitions for cozening


to cheat or trick (someone)
Derived Forms
cozenage, noun
cozener, noun
Word Origin
C16: cant term perhaps related to cousin
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 cozening



1560s, of uncertain origin; perhaps from French cousiner "cheat on pretext of being a cousin;" or from Middle English cosyn "fraud, trickery" (mid-15c.), which is perhaps related to Old French coçon "dealer, merchant, trader," from Latin cocionem "horse dealer." Related: Cozened; cozening; cozenage.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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