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verb \ˈkōks\

Simple Definition of coax

  • : to influence or persuade (a person or animal) to do something by talking in a gentle and friendly way

  • : to get (something) by talking in a gentle and friendly way

  • : to cause (something) to do something by making a careful and continual effort

Full Definition of coax

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 obsolete :  fondle, pet

  3. 2 :  to influence or gently urge by caressing or flattering :  wheedle <coaxed him into going>

  4. 3 :  to draw, gain, or persuade by means of gentle urging or flattery <unable to coax an answer out of him>

  5. 4 :  to manipulate with great perseverance and usually with considerable effort toward a desired state or activity <coax a fire to burn>

Examples of coax

  1. It took almost an hour to coax the cat down from the tree.

  2. She tried to coax a raise from her boss.

  3. He was unable to coax an answer out of her.

  4. He coaxed the fire to burn by blowing on it.

  5. The plant is difficult to coax into bloom.

Origin of coax

earlier cokes, from cokes simpleton

First Known Use: 1581

Synonym Discussion of coax

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>.

Rhymes with coax



noun co·ax \ˈkō-ˌaks\

Definition of coax

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