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con1

[kon]
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adverb
  1. against a proposition, opinion, etc.: arguments pro and con.
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noun
  1. the argument, position, arguer, or voter against something.
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Compare pro1.

Origin of con1

1575–85; short for Latin contrā in opposition, against

con2

[kon]
verb (used with object), conned, con·ning.
  1. to learn; study; peruse or examine carefully.
  2. to commit to memory.
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Origin of con2

before 1000; Middle English cunnen, Old English cunnan variant of can1 in sense “become acquainted with, learn to know”

con3

or conn

[kon]Nautical
verb (used with object), conned, con·ning.
  1. to direct the steering of (a ship).
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noun
  1. the station of the person who cons.
  2. the act of conning.
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Origin of con3

1350–1400; earlier cond, apocopated variant of Middle English condie, condue < Middle French cond(u)ire < Latin condūcere to conduct

con4

[kon]Informal.
adjective
  1. involving abuse of confidence: a con trick.
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verb (used with object), conned, con·ning.
  1. to swindle; trick: That crook conned me out of all my savings.
  2. to persuade by deception, cajolery, etc.
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noun
  1. a confidence game or swindle.
  2. a lie, exaggeration, or glib self-serving talk: He had a dozen different cons for getting out of paying traffic tickets.
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Origin of con4

1895–1900, Americanism; by shortening of confidence

con5

[kon]
noun Informal.
  1. a convention, especially one for fans of a particular type of popular culture: sci-fi, gaming, and anime cons.
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Origin of con5

First recorded in 1940–45; by shortening

con6

[kon]
noun Slang.
  1. a convict.
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Origin of con6

First recorded in 1715–25; by shortening

con7

[kon]
verb (used with object), conned, con·ning. 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.
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Origin of con7

1890–95; perhaps akin to French cognée hatchet, cogner to knock in, drive (a nail) home

cons.1

  1. (in prescriptions) conserve; keep.
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Origin of cons.1

From the Latin word conservā

cons.2

Cons.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

wheedlebilkdupehoodwinkbamboozleswindlefrauddeceptionmockerycheatcrimebluffgraftfooltrickhumbugrookcoaxinveigleflimflam

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British Dictionary definitions for cons

Cons.

cons.

abbreviation for
  1. Conservative
  2. Constitution
  3. Consul
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con1

noun
    1. short for confidence trick
    2. (as modifier)con man
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verb cons, conning or conned
  1. (tr) to swindle or defraud
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Word Origin

C19: from confidence

con2

noun (usually plural)
  1. an argument or vote against a proposal, motion, etc
  2. a person who argues or votes against a proposal, motion, etc
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Compare pro 1See also pros and cons

Word Origin

from Latin contrā against, opposed to

con3

noun
  1. slang short for convict
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con4

esp US conn

nautical
verb cons, conns, conning or conned
  1. (tr) to direct the steering of (a vessel)
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noun
  1. the place where a person who cons a vessel is stationed
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Word Origin

C17 cun, from earlier condien to guide, from Old French conduire, from Latin condūcere; see conduct

con5

verb cons, conning or conned
  1. (tr) archaic to study attentively or learn (esp in the phrase con by rote)
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Word Origin

C15: variant of can 1 in the sense: to come to know

con6

preposition
  1. music with
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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

Word Origin and History for cons

con

n.1

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

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con

n.2

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

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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.

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con

v.1

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

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con

v.2

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

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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper