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Cheat vs Cozen vs Defraud vs Swindle vs Overreach

Cheat, cozen, defraud, swindle, overreach are comparable when meaning to obtain something and especially money or valuables from or an advantage over another by dishonesty and trickery.

Cheat suggests deceit and, usually, tricks that escape or are intended to escape the observation of others.

Cozen implies more artfulness or craft and often more allurements than cheat; it usually suggests the victim’s loss of something of value to him whether of real worth or not.

Defraud implies depriving another of something that is his by right whether by taking it from him or by withholding it; the word, however, implies misleading statements or deliberate perversion of the truth more often than it implies craft, artfulness, or wiles.

Swindle implies either gross cheating or defrauding especially by imposture or by gaining the victim’s confidence; it usually implies the obtaining of money or something quickly or easily convertible into money by false pretenses.

Overreach implies getting the better of a person with whom one is dealing or negotiating or bargaining by unfair or dishonest means; often it implies cheating or defrauding or swindling.