con man

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con man

1. A man who exploits the vulnerability of others for his own sake by manipulating and taking advantage of their confidence (the act of which is known as a confidence trick or game). It is the common abbreviation of the full term, "confidence man." Be wary of con men who send e-mails claiming to be a bank or some other trustworthy establishment: they often ask for your personal bank details so as to have access to your finances.
2. By extension, a man who is skilled at duplicity, cajolery, or self-serving manipulation or persuasion. John is such a con man, always convincing others to pay for him on nights out under the pretense that he'll "pay them back later."
See also: con, man

con man

and con artist
n. someone who makes a living by swindling people. Gary is a con artist, but at least he’s not on the dole. I was taken by a real con man!
See also: con, man
References in periodicals archive ?
And while there is no duplicitous confidence man in Balzac's story, the narrator says toward the end, "The colossal [religious] Figure on the crucifix above the altar smiled upon me with a mingled malice and benevolence that frightened me.
The critic's "playful" use of the language of the credit-banking system as a way into The Confidence Man yields remarkable results, for which she deserves credit.
The confidence man Foer appealed to their vanity, and they fell hard.
Scotty was a confidence man and he just shrivelled.
Silence in Melville signifies more importantly than Gibian credits, and those biting ironies in The Confidence Man show geniality as a dupe and talk as a swindle as the Fidele steams toward the South.
The most important thing for a confidence man is not to let his targets see that he is bogus.
A charmer, an entrepreneur, a confidence man, a hopeless romantic, and an escape artist who loved to have fun.
Enter Fritz Vritz - poet, magician, clown, ladies' man cum confidence man, and ethnic chameleon nonpareil - the multivalent "Kaschmir" of the title who also presents himself as something of a Christ figure.
Lay, I've concluded that you're perhaps the most accomplished confidence man since Charles Ponzi.
Fish is like the nineteenth-century confidence man Barney Barnato.