Dictionary: CON – CON-CA'VOUS-LY

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CON, n. [abbreviated from Latin contra, against.]

In the phrase, pro and con, for and against, con denotes the negative side of a question. As a noun, a person who is in the negative; as, the pros and cons.

CON, prep. [CON-; with or against.]

A Latin inseparable preposition or prefix to other words. Ainsworth remarks that con and cum have the same signification, but that cum is used separately, and con in composition. Con and cum may be radically distinct words. The Irish comh, or coimh, is equivalent to the Latin con; and the Welsh cym, convertible into cyv, appears to be the same word, denoting, says Owen, a mutual act, quality or effect. It is precisely equivalent to the Latin com, in comparo, compono, and the Latin com, in composition, may be the Celtic comh or cym. But generally it seems to be con, changed into com. Ainsworth deduces cum from the Greek συν; for originally it was written cyn. But this is probably a mistake. Con coincides in radical letters and in signification with the Teutonic gain, gen, gean, igen, igien, in the English again, against; Sax. gean, ongean; Sw. igen; Dan. igien. Whatever may be its origin or affinities, the primary sense of the word is probably from some root that signifies to meet or oppose, or turn and meet; to approach to, or to be with. This is the radical sense of most prepositions of the like import. See the English with, again. So in Irish, coinne, a meeting; os coinne, opposite. Con, in compounds, is changed into l before l, as in colligo, to collect, and into m before a labial, as in comparo, to compare. Before a vowel or h, the n is dropped; as in coalesco, to coalesce, to cooperate; cohibeo, to restrain. It denotes union, as in conjoin; or opposition, as in conflict, contend. Qu. W. gan, with.

CON, v.t. [Sax. cennan, connan, cunnan, to know, to be able, to be skillful or wise; and cennan, to bear or bring forth, Gr. γενναω; and cunnian, to try, to attempt, to prove, L. conor; whence cunning, skillful, experienced, or skill, experience; the latter word, cunnian, coincides in sense with Sax. anginnan, onginnan, to begin, to try, to attempt, L. conor. D. kennen, to know, understand, or be acquainted; kunnen, to be able, can, to know or understand, to hold or contain; the last signification coinciding with the W. ganu, to contain. G. kennen, to know; and können, to be able. Dan. kan, to be able, pret. kunde, whence kundskab, knowledge, skill, experience. Sw. känna, to know; kuna, to be able, to be skilled, to know. The primary sense is, to strain or stretch, which gives the sense of strength, power, as in can, and of holding, containing, comprehending, as contain, from contineo, teneo, Gr. τεινω, L. tendo. And this signification connects these words with gin, in its compounds, begin, Sax. beginnan, anginnan, &c., to strain, to try, to stretch forward and make an effort; also with the Gr. γενναω, L. gignor, to beget, or to bring forth. See Class Gn, No. 29, 36, 40, 42, 45, 58. In the sense of know, con signifies to hold or to reach.]

  1. To know. [Obs.] “I conne no skill.” – Spenser. “I shall not conne answer.” I shall not know or be able to answer. – Chaucer.
  2. To make one's self master of; to fix in the mind, or commit to memory; as, to con a lesson. – Milton. Holder. To con thanks, to be pleased or obliged, or to thank. [Obs.] – Chaucer. Shak.

CON-AMORE, adv. [It. Con amore.]

With love or pleasure.

CO-NA'TUS, n. [L.]

  1. Effort; attempt. – Paley.
  2. The tendency of a body toward any point, or to pursue its course in the same line of direction. Paley.

CON-CAM'ER-ATE, v.t. [L. concamero, to arch; con and camera, an arch, arched roof, or chamber.]

To arch over; to vault; to lay a concave over; as, a concentrated bone. – Grew.


Arched over.


An arching; an arch or vault. – Glanville.

CON-CAT'E-NATE, v.t. [It. concatenare, to link together; concatenato; Low L. concatenatus; con and catena, a chain; Sp. concadenar, and encadenar, from cadena, Fr. cadene, a chain.]

To link together; to unite in a successive series or chain, as I thins depending on each other. – Harris.


Linked together; united in a series.


Linking together in a series.


A series of links united; a successive series or order of things connected or depending on each other; as, a concatenation of causes.


Joint cause. [Not used.] – Fotherby.

CON-CA-VA'TION, n. [See Concave.]

The act of making concave.

CON'CAVE, a. [L. concavus; con and cavus, hollow. See Cave.]

  1. Hollow, and arched or rounded, as the inner surface of a spherical body; opposed to convex; as, a concave glass.
  2. Hollow, in a general sense; as the concave shores of the Tiber. – Shak.
  3. In botany, a concave leaf is one whose edge stands above the disk. – Martyn.


A hollow; an arch, or vault; as, the ethereal concave.

CON'CAVE, v.t.

To make hollow. – Seward.


Made hollow.




Making hollow.

CON-CAV'I-TY, n. [It. concavità; Fr. concavité; Sp. concavidad.]

Hollowness; the internal surface of a hollow spherical body, or a body of other figure; or the space within such body. Wotton.


Concave or hollow on both surfaces.


Concave on one side, and convex on the other. [See Convex.]

CON-CA'VOUS, a. [L. concavus.]

Concave – which see.


With hollowness; in a manner to discover the internal surface of a hollow sphere.