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confidence game

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noun
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.
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Also called, British, confidence trick .

Origin of confidence game

An Americanism dating back to 1855–60
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use confidence game in a sentence

Other 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.
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