verb1 : to deceive, win over, or induce to do something by artful coaxing and wheedling or shrewd trickery 2 : to gain by artful coaxing or trickydeception
The young man used his charm to cozen elderly victims into pouringtheir savings into his investmentscheme.
“The BBC stated in its coverage of the decision that some satiricalcontent had been mistaken for the truth in the past, including one instance in 2013 when the Washington Post was cozened intoreporting that Sarah Palin signedonto Al-Jazeera as a correspondent.” — Chandra Johnson, Deseret News, August 20, 2014
Did you know?
“Be not utterly deceived (or to speakin plainer terms, cozened at theirhands).” Denouncing the evils of the times, 16th-century Puritanpamphleteer Philip Stubbes thuswarned against unscrupulousmerchants. Cozen may not seem a “plainer term” to us, but it might haveto the horse-dependent folks of the 16th century. Some linguists havetheorized 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 suggestany shrewd negotiation. It seemssafe to assume that not all of thesenegotiations were entirely on the up-and-up. Given its etymologicalassociation with horse traders, therefore, it’s not too surprising thatcozen suggests deception and fraud.