Definition of cozen
cozenedcozening play \ˈkəz-niŋ, ˈkə-zə-\
1 : to deceive, win over, or induce to do something by artful coaxing and wheedling or shrewd trickery
2 : to gain by cozening someone <cozened his supper out of the old couple>
Examples of cozen in a sentence
<cozened several elderly ladies into believing that he was intending marriage>
<cozened scores of people by persuading them to hand over funds that he would “invest”>
Did You Know?
Be not utterly deceived (or to speak in plainer terms, cozened at their hands). Denouncing the evils of the times, 16th-century Puritan pamphleteer Philip Stubbes thus warned against unscrupulous merchants. "Cozen" may not seem a "plainer term" to us, but it might have to the horse-dependent folks of the 16th century. Some linguists have theorized that "cozen" traces to the Italian noun cozzone, which means "horse trader." Horse-trading, as in the actual swapping of horses, usually involved bargaining and compromise-and, in fact, the term "horse-trading" has come to suggest any shrewd negotiation. It seems safe to assume that not all of these negotiations were entirely on the up-and-up. Given its etymological association with horse traders, therefore, it's not too surprising that "cozen" suggests deception and fraud.
Origin of cozen
perhaps from obsolete Italian cozzonare, from Italian cozzone horse trader, from Latin cocion-, cocio trader
First Known Use: 1573
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