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
2 : to influence or gently urge by caressing or flattering : wheedle <coaxed him into going>
3 : to draw, gain, or persuade by means of gentle urging or flattery <unable to coax an answer out of him>
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 in a sentence
It took almost an hour to coax the cat down from the tree.
She tried to coax a raise from her boss.
He was unable to coax an answer out of her.
He coaxed the fire to burn by blowing on it.
The plant is difficult to coax into bloom.
Did You Know?
In the days of yore, if you made a cokes of someone, you made a fool of them. Cokes-a now-obsolete word for "fool"-is believed to be the source of our verb coax, which was first used in the 16th century (with the spelling cokes) to mean "to make a fool of." Soon, the verb also took on the kinder meaning of "to make a pet of." As might be expected, the act of cokesing was sometimes done for personal gain. By the 17th century, the word was being used in today's senses that refer to influencing or persuading people by kind acts or words. By the early 19th century, the spelling cokes had fallen out of use, along with the meanings "to make a fool of" and "to make a pet of."
Origin of coax
earlier cokes, from cokes simpleton
First Known Use: 1581
Synonym Discussion of coax
Rhymes with coax
First Known Use of coax
COAX Defined for Kids
Definition of coax for Students
1 : to influence by gentle urging, special attention, or flattering <She coaxed her kitty out of the tree.>
2 : to get or win by means of gentle urging or flattery <He coaxed a raise from the boss.>
Seen and Heard
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