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cozen +‎ -age



cozenage (countable and uncountable, plural cozenages)

  1. (uncountable) The fact or practice of cozening; cheating, deception.
    • c. 1594 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Comedie of Errors”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act I, scene ii], page 87, column 1:
      They ſay this tovvne is full of coſenage: / As nimble Iuglers that deceiue the eie: []
    • 1896, Frederick Locker-Lampson, My Confidences, An Autobiographical Sketch Addressed to my Descendants, London: Smith, Elder & Co., pages 413-14:
      I ask you, What is human life? Is it not a maimed happiness—care and weariness, weariness and care, with a baseless expectation, the strange cozenage of a brighter tomorrow?
  2. (countable) An instance of cozening; a scam.
    • 1646, John Suckling, Fragmenta Aurea, Letter I, reprinted in The Works of Sir John Suckling: Containing His Poems, Letters, and Plays (Dublin: O. Nelson, 1766), p. 109:
      When I receive your Lines, my dear Princess, and find there Expressions of a Passion; though Reason and my own Immerit tell me, it must not be for me; yet is the Cozenage so pleasing to me, that I (brib'd by my own Desires) believe them still before the other.