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Probably from Turkish çavuş.[1]


chouse (third-person singular simple present chouses, present participle chousing, simple past and past participle choused)

  1. (transitive) To cheat, to trick.
    • c. 1824-1829, Walter Savage Landor, Imaginary Conversations, 1853, J. Forster (editor), The Works of Walter Savage Landor, Volume 1, page 29,
      I cannot think otherwise than that the undertaker of the aforecited poesy hath choused your Highness; for I have seen painted, I know not where, the identically same Dian, with full as many nymphs, as he calls them, and more dogs.
    • 1835, William Gilmore Simms, The Partisan, Harper, Chapter IV, page 46:
      They never like you half so well as when you bring your men with you: they don't want officers so much as men; and some of the commands, if they can chouse you out of your recruits, will not stop to do so; and then you may whistle for your commission.
  2. (US, regional) To handle, to take care of.
    • 1980, John R. Erickson, Panhandle Cowboy, page 79,
      This gave the roundup the appearance of a cavalry charge, and a stranger observing the procedure for the first time might have thought we were a bunch of green, possibly drunken cowboys making sport out of chousing cattle. But we weren't chousing them, we were just trying to keep them in sight, and for a very good reason.



chouse (plural chouses)

  1. One who is easily cheated; a gullible person.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Hudibras to this entry?)
  2. A trick; a sham.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Johnson to this entry?)
  3. A swindler.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Ben Jonson to this entry?)

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.


  1. ^ "chouse." Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary. Merriam-Webster. 2008.