Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to confidence: confidence interval
1. A person who exploits the vulnerability of others for their 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 artist." Be wary of con artists who send emails claiming to be a bank or some other trustworthy establishment: they often ask for your personal bank details to have access to your finances.
2. By extension, a person who is skilled at duplicity, cajolery, or self-serving manipulation or persuasion. John is such a con artist, always convincing others to pay for him on nights out under the pretense that he'll "pay them back later."
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 emails 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."
Any action taken to eliminate or reduce the fear of attack or escalation of conflict between two or more parties, as in international politics, interpersonal communication, business interactions, etc. The term is usually pluralized. The two countries, long on the brink of all-out war, have introduced several confidence-building measures between their governments to facilitate better communication and hopefully avert the need for a military offensive by either side. One of our goals in marriage counseling is to create confidence-building measures between spouses, so that each person learns to communicate their frustrations before they turn into a source of conflict.
See also: measure
In private; with the understanding that what was said will not be revealed. Sometimes used with the modifiers "strict" or "the strictest." I can't believe you told your husband about my operation—I told that to you in confidence! Gentlemen, please be aware that this meeting is being held in the strictest confidence.
be in (one's) confidence
To be viewed as trustworthy enough to know one's private information. I can't tell you what Phil said—I'm in his confidence!
take (someone) into (one's) confidence
To tell someone information with the understanding that they will not reveal what was said. Daniel, we've taken you into our confidence to discuss the direction of the company, and where we see you fitting into it. You're the only person I've taken into my confidence about this, so please don't discuss it with anyone else.
a confidence game
A method of inspiring someone's trust and then deceiving them. Don't fall for Tony's sad story—he's known for playing confidence games.
have confidence in someone
to trust someone; to know that someone will be true. I have confidence in you, and I know you will do well. Randy tends not to have confidence in anyone.
take someone into one's confidence
to trust someone with confidential information; to tell a secret to someone and trust the person to keep the secret. We are good friends, but I didn't feel I could take her into my confidence. I know something very important about Jean. Can I take you into my confidence?
vote of confidence
Fig. a poll taken to discover whether or not a person, party, etc., still has the majority's support. The government easily won the vote of confidence called for by the opposition. The president of the club resigned when one of the members called for a vote of confidence in his leadership.
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 game-she 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.
Also, in strict confidence. Privately, on condition that what is said will not be revealed. For example, The doctor told her in confidence that her mother was terminally ill, or He told us in strict confidence that Gail was pregnant. This idiom was first recorded in 1632. Also see take into one's confidence.
take into one's confidence
Trust someone with a secret, as in She took me into her confidence and admitted that she was quitting next month. This idiom uses confidence in the sense of "trust," a usage dating from the late 1500s.
be in somebody’s ˈconfidencebe trusted with somebody’s secrets: He is said to be very much in the President’s confidence.
take somebody into your ˈconfidencetell somebody your secret plans, problems, etc: She’s the only person I’ve taken into my confidence about it.
con manand 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 con man