Word of the Day Archive
Monday September 10, 2007
, transitive verb:
1. To cheat; to defraud; to deceive, usually by petty tricks.
2. To obtain by deceit.
1. To act deceitfully.
You would naturally not think so flat a rogue could cozen you. But have a care! These half idiots have a sort of cunning, as the skunk has its stench.
-- Robert Louis Stevenson, The Master of Ballantrae
The men who circle endlessly around her are mostly louts and losers. We watch them, at some length, as they drink, dope, cozen each other and tirelessly mistreat women.
-- Brad Leithauser, "Capturer of Hearts", New York Times, April 7, 1996
Pound, discussing Loy and Moore together, made a stab: "In the verses of Marianne Moore I detect traces of emotion; in that of Mina Loy I detect no emotion whatever." No, not absence of feeling; refusal, rather, to cozen her readers by appeal to feeling.
-- Hugh Kenner, "To Be the Brancusi of Poetry", New York Times, May 16, 1982
The rich man, argued Fox, is 'the greatest thief' because he acquired his wealth 'by cozening and cheating, by lying and defrauding'.
-- James Walvin, The Quakers
Cozen perhaps derives from Early Modern French cousiner, "to defraud; literally to treat as if a cousin (hence to claim to be a cousin in order to defraud)," from Old French cosin.