con man

(redirected from confidence man)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Acronyms, Wikipedia.

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 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."
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.
Melville opens his book with a scene in which the confidence man appeals to the Pauline encouragement to the Corinthians, "Love never faileth," and after our April Fool's Day aboard the Fiddle, where only the confidence man shows charity, whereas his victims show how venal and callous the American heartlanders can be, Melville closes by remarking, "Something further may follow of this Masquerade" (260).
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.
Collapsing, in the manner of Melville's The Confidence Man, two senses of the verb to act, Brown shows the regulatory force of the mask for blacks who must live up to white scripts even as they work them to other purposes.
He is a kind of confidence man, preying on people's vanity, ignorance, or loneliness, gaining their trust and betraying them without remorse.
The novel, which was unfinished at Mann's death, is the story of a confidence man who wins the favor of others by performing the roles they desire of him.
Oskar Schindler, failed businessman, war profiteer, womanizer, and confidence man, has come to Poland with his own ledger, a financial one.
The second two sections on Melville's Confidence Man, while a litle compressed, are an insightful addtion to Melville criticism.
The game of the "confidence man," a term probably first used in the New York press in 1849(12) and probably most familiarly exemplified for twentieth-century readers in Herman Melville's 1857 novel The Confidence Man, was to create trust in order to betray it.
As Janet Malcolm put it in her well-known New Yorker article, "The Journalist and the Murderer,": "The journalist is a kind of confidence man, preying on people's vanity, ignorance, or loneliness, gaining their trust and betraying them without remorse.
The "gimlet-eyed" realist who tries ineffectually to expose the Confidence Man fails because in a world without principle the Confidence Man is king and evil generally triumphs.
There has also been a great deal of hard work and probity in Dillard's rise, and if he shares certain traits of his more flamboyant peers, his empire has been built on the techniques of earning confidence rather than on those of the confidence man.
Big con practitioners, in turn, become simply one more type of confidence man.
The Melville chapters focus upon the little-studied "Authentic Anecdotes of Old Zack," Typee, "Benito Cereno," and, briefly, The Confidence Man.
In this book, the president is little more than a political confidence man.