confidence game

noun
any swindle in which the swindler, after gaining the confidence of the victim, robs the victim by cheating at a gambling game, appropriating funds entrusted for investment, or the like.
Also called, British, confidence trick.


Origin:
1855–60, Americanism

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
confidence trick or (US and Canadian) confidence game
 
n
con trick, Informal shortened forms: con game a swindle involving money, goods, etc, in which the victim's trust is won by the swindler
 
confidence game or (US and Canadian) confidence game
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

confidence game

Also, confidence trick; con game. A swindle in which the victim is defrauded after his or her trust has been won. For example, The police warned of a confidence game in which people were asked to turn over valuables for a so-called appraisal, or The typical confidence trick is easy to spot if you know what to look for, or I almost let myself be taken in by her con gameshe seemed so sincere. These terms, which use confidence in the sense of "trust," date from the mid-1800s. They also gave rise to confidence man (or con man) for the swindler.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

confidence game

any elaborate swindling operation in which advantage is taken of the confidence the victim reposes in the swindler. Some countries have created a statutory offense of this name, though the elements of the crime have never been clearly defined by legislation, and the scope of proscribed behaviour remains subject to varying interpretations among jurisdictions.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Lee wins confidence game in comeback story of the year.
But markets are a confidence game, so there are genuine risks to inflationary policies.
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