• cajole
  • audio pronunciation
  • \kuh-JOHL\
  • DEFINITION

verb

1
a : to persuade with flattery or gentle urging : coax b : to obtain from someone by gentle persuasion
2
: to deceive with soothing words or false promises
  • EXAMPLES

Brianna was able to cajole some money from her father before leaving for the movies.

"Walking across Niagara Falls on a high wire is supposed to be hard; that's the point of doing it. But after nearly a year of cajoling, pressuring and outright begging for legal permission to cross the scenic gorge between Canada and the United States, Wallenda is coming face to face with the practical challenges of fulfilling his lifelong dream." — From an article by Charlie Gillis at Macleans.ca, May 25, 2012

  • DID YOU KNOW?

"Cajole" comes from a French verb, "cajoler," which has the same meaning as the English word. 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 word "cage," from which we borrowed our own "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."

Test Your Memory: What is the meaning of "froufrou," our Word of the Day from February 9? The answer is …

  • MORE WORDS OF THE DAY

Visit our archives to see previous selections ยป

  • FEATURED ITEM FROM OUR STORE

An expressive t-shirt:

"Use Your Words"

Browse all items »

  • PODCAST

Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP

  • SUBSCRIBE

Subscribe to the Word of the Day e-mail

Manage Your Account