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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for cozening
Historical Examples
  • As I grow to know him better, however, I find he is not cozening the public so much as imposing on himself.

    The Story of an Untold Love Paul Leicester Ford
  • I will have no gallivanting, no cozening and smiling and prating and distracting.

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

    She Stands Accused Victor MacClure
  • Then he would have fled from the danger of her presence, but the eyes grew long and cozening, like a gypsy's, and held him.

    Roads of Destiny O. Henry
  • 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
  • You know I never get or save anything by cozening or classmating.

  • 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.'

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

  • I am only glad that he did not succeed in cozening you further than he did.

    The Belton Estate Anthony Trollope
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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