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verb, ca·jole \kə-ˈjōl\

Simple Definition of cajole

  • : to persuade someone to do something or to give you something by making promises or saying nice things

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of cajole


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to persuade with flattery or gentle urging especially in the face of reluctance :  coax <had to cajole them into going> b :  to obtain from someone by gentle persuasion <cajoled money from his parents>

  3. 2 :  to deceive with soothing words or false promises

cajolement play \-ˈjōl-mənt\ noun
cajoler noun
cajolery play \-ˈjō-lə-rē\ noun

Examples of cajole in a sentence

  1. <cajoled her into doing his laundry for him>

Did You Know?

Cajole comes from a French verb, cajoler, which is all about cajoling, coaxing, and chattering. You might not think to associate "cajole" with "cage," but some etymologists theorize that "cajoler" is connected to not one but two words for "cage." One of them is the Anglo-French cage, from which we borrowed our own word cage. It comes from Latin cavea, meaning "cage." The other is the Anglo-French word for "birdcage," which is "gaiole." It's an ancestor of our word jail, and it derives from Late Latin caveola, which means "little cage." Anglo-French speakers had a related verb, "gaioler," which meant "to chatter like a jay in a cage." It's possible that "cajoler" is a combination of "gaioler" and "cage."

Origin of cajole

French cajoler

First Known Use: 1630

Synonym Discussion of cajole

cajole, coax, soft-soap, blandish, wheedle mean to influence or persuade by pleasing words or actions. cajole suggests the deliberate use of flattery to persuade in the face of reluctance or reasonable objections <cajoled him into cheating on the final exam>. coax implies gentle and persistent words or actions employed to produce a desired effect <coaxed the cat out of the tree>. soft-soap refers to using smooth and somewhat insincere talk usually for personal gain <politicians soft-soaping eligible voters>. blandish implies a more open desire to win a person over by effusive praise and affectionate actions <legislators blandished with promises of support>. wheedle suggests more strongly than cajole the use of seductive appeal or artful words in persuading <hucksters wheedling her life's savings out of her>.

CAJOLE Defined for Kids


verb ca·jole \kə-ˈjōl\

Definition of cajole for Students


  1. :  to coax or persuade especially by flattery or false promises <She cajoled me into accompanying her.>

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up cajole? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the range of perception or understanding

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