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coerce

play
verb co·erce \kō-ˈərs\

Simple Definition of coerce

  • : to make (someone) do something by using force or threats

  • : to get (something) by using force or threats

Full Definition of coerce

co·ercedco·erc·ing

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to restrain or dominate by force <religion in the past has tried to coerce the irreligious — W. R. Inge>

  3. 2 :  to compel to an act or choice <was coerced into agreeing>

  4. 3 :  to achieve by force or threat <coerce compliance>

co·erc·ible play \-ˈər-sə-bəl\ adjective

Examples of coerce

  1. A confession was coerced from the suspect by police.

  2. <was coerced into signing the document>



Origin of coerce

Middle English cohercen, from Anglo-French *cohercer Latin coercēre, from co- + arcēre to shut up, enclose — more at ark


First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of coerce

force, compel, coerce, constrain, oblige mean to make someone or something yield. force is the general term and implies the overcoming of resistance by the exertion of strength, power, or duress <forced to flee for their lives>. compel typically suggests overcoming of resistance or unwillingness by an irresistible force <compelled to admit my mistake>. coerce suggests overcoming resistance or unwillingness by actual or threatened violence or pressure <coerced into signing over the rights>. constrain suggests the effect of a force or circumstance that limits freedom of action or choice <constrained by conscience>. oblige implies the constraint of necessity, law, or duty <felt obliged to go>.


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