[kuhz-uh n]

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 formscoz·en·er, nouncoz·en·ing·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cozen

Historical Examples of cozen

  • It is the same with cousin (consanguineus), and to cozen or to deceive.

    English Past and Present

    Richard Chevenix Trench

  • He had come to cozen me into letting him use me in return for a mockery of an honor.

    The Plum Tree

    David Graham Phillips

  • Smile with an intent to do mischief, or cozen him whom he salutes.

    Familiar Quotations

    John Bartlett

  • The world looks to them as if they could cozen it out of some ways and means of life.

  • But they cannot cozen it: they can only cozen their neighbours.

British Dictionary definitions for cozen



to cheat or trick (someone)
Derived Formscozenage, nouncozener, noun

Word Origin for cozen

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

Word Origin and History for cozen

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