con

1 of 12

noun (1)

: something (such as a ruse) used deceptively to gain another's confidence
He knew too much about con to fall for that one …Herbert Gold
also : a confidence game : swindle

con

2 of 12

verb (1)

conned; conning

transitive verb

1
: swindle
accused of conning retirees out of their savings
2
: manipulate sense 2b
He conned his way into the job.
3
: persuade, cajole
conned her into volunteering

con

3 of 12

noun (2)

con

4 of 12

noun (3)

plural cons
informal
: convention sense 2b
a comic book con
Now, such gatherings as the Further Confusion convention in San Jose, California, and Anthrocon in Philadelphia, attract more than 1,000 furry hobbyists apiece. (The Midwest FurFest is a smaller "con," with about 400 attending.)George Gurley

con

5 of 12

noun (4)

1
: an argument or evidence in opposition
2
: the negative position or one holding it
an appraisal of the pros and cons

con

6 of 12

adverb

: on the negative side : in opposition
so much has been written pro and con

con

7 of 12

adjective

: confidence
a con artist
a con game

con

8 of 12

verb (2)

conned; conning

transitive verb

1
: to commit to memory
conned the poem
2
: to study or examine closely
Clare regarded her attentively, conned the characters of her face as if they had been hieroglyphics.Thomas Hardy

con

9 of 12

noun (5)

slang
: a destructive disease of the lungs
especially : tuberculosis

con

10 of 12

verb (3)

less common spelling of conn

transitive verb

: to conduct or direct the steering of (a vessel, such as a ship)

con

11 of 12

abbreviation

1
consolidated
2
[Latin conjunx] consort
3
consul
4
continued

con-

12 of 12

prefix

see com-

Examples of con in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Although Pathological: The Lies of Joran van der Sloot examines a murder’s successful efforts to con the media, Cassel says his documentary doesn’t sympathize with him, and instead exposes van der Sloot’s corrupt behavior, while paying tribute to the victim’s families. Kalia Richardson, Rolling Stone, 1 Mar. 2024 By Saturday afternoon, the experience had been canceled and local police confirmed to NBC News that they were called to the scene after attendees who felt conned began demanding refunds. Angela Yang, NBC News, 28 Feb. 2024 As clutches laid by those snakes failed to contain any crimson hatchlings, vexed breeders agreed that they’d been conned. Rebecca Giggs, The New Yorker, 19 Feb. 2024 Darwall’s report convincingly demonstrates how Britain was conned into net zero by deceptive and illusory promises of cheap renewable power. Andrew Puzder, National Review, 5 Feb. 2024 The fact that Norma’s fallen into a coma, and can’t be charmed (or conned) by Maxine any further, doesn’t help either. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, 20 Mar. 2024 Related Articles Redwood City widow conned out of nearly $2 million, bank accused of helping scammers The first 10 years of legal marijuana in Colorado were a wild ride. Cnn.com Wire Service, The Mercury News, 25 Feb. 2024 In the case that sent him to prison in November, Wooton conned a Clearwater man into giving him $10,000 in 2019 for the purchase of a motorhome that didn’t exist. Nick Ferraro, Twin Cities, 14 Feb. 2024 Their bait-and-switch scam conned users with fake properties in major cities, including Los Angeles and Denver. Jenna Anderson, Sunset Magazine, 30 Jan. 2024
Noun
Get the recipe > Caldo de Cabeza de Pescado con Chochoyotes (Fish Head Soup with Masa Dumplings) Obed Vallejo Chef, Maíz de la Vida, Nashville, Tennessee Born in Yucatán, chef Obed Vallejo moved to Florida as a kid. Shane Mitchell, Saveur, 28 Mar. 2024 Verdict: New Biz Player Is a Decent Value, But Needs Refinement MSI’s new business laptop line comes with slightly fewer pros than cons on the final tally. PCMAG, 27 Mar. 2024 The pros and cons of a possible de facto TikTok ban. Galen Druke, ABC News, 21 Mar. 2024 Read on to learn more about each website and the pros and cons of using them. Sponsored Content, The Mercury News, 18 Mar. 2024 Anthony Vaccarello’s latest show for Saint Laurent divided opinions, with the pros and cons often falling along gender lines. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, 8 Mar. 2024 Pausing to think about the pros and cons of delaying a task or breaking unpleasant tasks into manageable pieces might help shift your mindset. Stephanie Brown, Verywell Health, 8 Mar. 2024 Columnist Glenn Whipp and film editor Joshua Rothkopf sat down to discuss the pros and cons of AMPAS’ latest walk-on part: an Oscar to celebrate a long-unsung aspect of moviemaking. Glenn Whipp, Los Angeles Times, 8 Mar. 2024 The pros and cons Reach the reporter at catherine.reagor@arizonarepublic.com or 602-444-8040. Catherine Reagor, The Arizona Republic, 4 Mar. 2024
Adjective
There’s Benjamin Franklin’s three-century-old pro/con model, but there are also more advanced ways to answer important questions, Kozyrkov said. Byrachyl Jones, Fortune, 6 Sep. 2023 The thing to eat is at Vitek's and called the Gut Pack: Barbecue beans, cheese and con chips with sausage and peppers. Scott Springer, The Enquirer, 2 July 2023 But when the man Maizy brings back is more con than corn, Lulu and the entire town must learn that sometimes help comes from unlikely corny places. Ct Jones, Rolling Stone, 3 May 2023 While travelling on a cruise ship, Hopsie falls for a con woman named Jean Harrington (Barbara Stanwyck). Rachel Syme, The New Yorker, 3 Apr. 2023 Torn between her feelings for Paxton and Ben, Devi creates a pro-con list with Fab and Eleanor. Leah Campano, Seventeen, 11 Aug. 2022 And while the old Miranda would have faced her mid-life crisis by whipping a legal pad out of her normcore briefcase and making a pro-con list, this Miranda’s response is a lot more Carrie. Hayley Maitland, Vogue, 21 Jan. 2022 Indeed, Harmon's aim for her story was not to wade through the pro/con GMO arguments, but to open a new window onto a complicated subject. Keith Kloor, Discover Magazine, 1 Aug. 2013

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'con.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

derivative of con entry 7

Verb (1)

derivative of con entry 1 or con entry 7

Noun (2)

by shortening

Noun (3)

by shortening

Noun (4)

derivative of con entry 6

Adverb

short for Latin contrā "opposite, against," in the phrase pro and contra — more at contra-

Adjective

by shortening

Verb (2)

Middle English connen to know, learn, study, alteration of cunnen to know, infinitive of can — more at can entry 1

Noun (5)

short for consumption

First Known Use

Noun (1)

1901, in the meaning defined above

Verb (1)

1896, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

1893, in the meaning defined above

Noun (3)

1940, in the meaning defined above

Noun (4)

1589, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adverb

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

1889, in the meaning defined above

Verb (2)

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (5)

1915, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of con was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near con

Cite this Entry

“Con.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/con. Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

con

1 of 5 verb
conned; conning
1
2
: to study carefully

con

2 of 5 adverb
: on the negative side : in opposition
argue pro and con

con

3 of 5 noun
: an opposing argument, person, or position
the pros and cons of the question

con

4 of 5 adjective
: confidence entry 2
a con game

con-

5 of 5
see com-
Etymology

Verb

Middle English connen "to know, learn," derived from can (auxiliary verb) "to know, know how to"

Adverb

Middle English con "on the negative side, against"; a shortened form of contra "against, contrary"

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