Word of the Day: con

Word of the Day
March 31, 2016
con (noun, verb, adjective)
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As a verb, con means 'to trick or deceive' or 'to persuade by deception.' As an adjective, con describes someone or something that is dishonest and deceitful. As a noun, a con is a lie or a trick. In slang, a con is a criminal who is in prison. A con can also be a reason not to do something and, as an adjective, it can describe the position of being against something.

 

Example sentences
 
Bill was sentenced to five years in jail for conning the old man out of his savings.
On April Fools' Day, Karen conned me into thinking she was moving abroad, but it was just a joke!
You should always be careful of emails from people you don't know who are offering you money; those people are usually con artists.
The deal sounded too good to be true and, of course, it turned out to be a con.
When Mark went to jail, he was afraid of the other cons, but most of them turned out to be OK.
When making a decision, it is often helpful to weigh up the pros and cons.
There are more con arguments than pro ones; I don't think you should do it.

 

Words often used with con
 
pros and cons: the reasons for and against something
con trick: a trick or tactic designed to con somebody
con artist (or, con man, con woman): a person who makes a habit of conning others
ex-con: someone who was formally in prison for committing a crime
 
Additional information
 
As a verb, con can also mean 'to study something' or 'to learn something by heart.' Example: "The actor spent the afternoon conning his lines."
 
Did you know?
 
In many of its forms, con is a shortened version of another word. In the meanings relating to deceit, it is short for confidence—a confidence trick is when you gain another person's trust, or confidence, in order to deceive them. As a slang term for someone who is or has been in jail, it is short for convict and, as a reason not to do something, it is short for the Latin word contrā, meaning 'against.'
 
Origin
 
The deceit meanings of con first appeared in the US in the late 19th century, as a shortened version of confidence. As a word meaning 'a reason against something,' it dates back to the late 16th century and comes from the Latin word contrā. The slang word for convict dates back to the early 18th century. The meaning related to studying or learning is the oldest, dating back to before 1000 and coming from the Middle English word cunnen and the Old English word cunnan, a variant of can, meaning 'to become acquainted with or learn to know' (this meaning of can is no longer used).
 
 
 
 
 
Con in other languages
 
 
 
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