• synonyms


[kuhz-uh n]
verb (used with or without object)
  1. to cheat, deceive, or trick.
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for cozening

dupe, hoodwink, cheat, bilk, chisel, trick, beguile, bamboozle, gyp, swindle, defraud, con, flimflam, fraud

Examples from the Web for cozening

Historical Examples of cozening

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for cozening


  1. to cheat or trick (someone)
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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 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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper