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duress

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noun du·ress \du̇-ˈres also dyu̇-\

Simple Definition of duress

  • : force or threats meant to make someone do something

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of duress

  1. 1 :  forcible restraint or restriction

  2. 2 :  compulsion by threat; specifically :  unlawful constraint

Examples of duress in a sentence

  1. He gave the information under duress.

  2. <complied with the order only under duress>



Did You Know?

Duress is a word of hardy stock. It has been a part of the English language since the 14th century, and has a number of long-lived relatives. "Duress" itself came into Middle English through the Anglo-French duresce (meaning "hardness" or "severity"), which stems from Latin durus, meaning "hard." Some obvious relatives of this robust root are "durable," "endure" and "obdurate" (meaning "unyielding" or "hardened in feelings"). Some others are "dour" (meaning "harsh," "unyielding," or "gloomy") and "during."

Origin and Etymology of duress

Middle English duresse, from Anglo-French duresce hardness, severity, from Latin duritia, from durus


First Known Use: 15th century


Law Dictionary

duress

play
noun du·ress \du̇-ˈres, dyu̇-\

Legal Definition of duress

  1. :  wrongful and usually unlawful compulsion (as threats of physical violence) that induces a person to act against his or her will :  coercion; also :  the affirmative defense of having acted under duress — see also economic duress — compare necessity, undue influence



Additional Notes on duress

A person may be able to avoid the consequences of his or her acts under the law if they were performed while under duress. For example, a contract made under duress is voidable by the coerced party. Similarly, a will signed under duress is invalid. Duress may also be used to justify a criminal act.

Origin and Etymology of duress

Anglo-French duresce, literally, hardness, harshness, from Old French, from Latin duritia, from durus hard



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