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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Cozen \Coz"en\ (k?z"'n), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Cozened (-'nd); p. pr. & vb. n. Cozening (-'n-?ng). ] [From cousin, hence, literally, to deceive through pretext of relationship, F. cousiner.] To cheat; to defraud; to beguile; to deceive, usually by small arts, or in a pitiful way.

He had cozened the world by fine phrases.

Children may be cozened into a knowledge of the letters.

Goring loved no man so well but that he would cozen him, and expose him to public mirth for having been cozened.


Cozen \Coz"en\, v. i. To deceive; to cheat; to act deceitfully.

Some cogging, cozening slave.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

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 co├žon "dealer, merchant, trader," from Latin cocionem "horse dealer." Related: Cozened; cozening; cozenage.


vb. (context archaic English) To cheat; to defraud; to beguile; to deceive, usually by small arts, or in a pitiful way.

  1. v. be false to; be dishonest with [syn: deceive, lead on, delude]

  2. act with artful deceit

  3. cheat or trick; "He cozened the money out of the old man"

Usage examples of "cozen".

It does not cozen me, though I confess I find other aspects of your behaviour rather more puzzling!

Fall to your couples again, and cozen kindly, And heartily, and lovingly, as you should, And lose not the beginning of a term, Or, by this hand, I shall grow factious too, And take my part, and quit you.

Yes, the casa, My precious Diego, will prove fair enough To cozen you in.

Or any formal writ out of a court, That you did cozen your self, I will not hold them.

And I set aside childhood and practiced as best I could and as best my kyn would allow me with claidheammor and skean and carbine, though it was seldom indeed I could cozen a clannsman into allowing me to use his firearm.

In much the same manner that you arrived long years ago with your supposed holy men who wished to give all soma and make clannless ones of them, so now you attempt to cozen us with lofty praise of your laws.

All I can tell you is that beyond the deserted village is the outer wall, and beyond the outer wall is a great crack in the earth filled with monsters that cozen, diddle, increase, and plot to escape.

Nobly born or gutter-bred, you play off your tricks to cozen the credulous!

All over Caledonia, young people have been cozened into coming to your cities and mining centers.

And the word will go out to their other cities, and once warned, they will not be cozened again.

And if there are social climbers on the High Council who seek to bring wizardry into fashion again in the circles to which they aspire, you can believe that the rest of the Council could not be cozened to such a plan.

Spirit, 505 Which none see by but those that bear it: A light that falls down from on high, For spiritual trades to cozen by An Ignis Fatuus, that bewitches And leads men into pools and ditches, 510 To make them dip themselves, and sound For Christendom in dirty pond To dive like wild-fowl for salvation, And fish to catch regeneration.

I need names -- all those who defaulted on loans from Mistress Fitt and were about to be sued, and all those from whom she cozened larger penalties than she ought to have been due.

Captain Devil and taken his name like the cozening lying whoreson poxy Frogs ye are!

That Maxil is shepherded, disgraced, shamed, humiliated by a bullying byblow, while Fernan is feted and cozened?