ca·​jole | \ kə-ˈjōl How to pronounce cajole (audio) \
cajoled; cajoling

Definition of cajole

transitive verb

1a : to persuade with flattery or gentle urging especially in the face of reluctance : coax had to cajole them into going
b : to obtain from someone by gentle persuasion cajoled money from his parents
2 : to deceive with soothing words or false promises cajoled himself with thoughts of escape— Robertson Davies

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Other Words from cajole

cajolement \ kə-​ˈjōl-​mənt How to pronounce cajolement (audio) \ noun
cajoler noun
cajolery \ kə-​ˈjō-​lə-​rē How to pronounce cajolery (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for cajole

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

Examples of cajole in a Sentence

cajoled her into doing his laundry for him
Recent Examples on the Web By forcing non-EU businesses to pay the same carbon price as local companies via the border tax, the theory is that the EU could cajole other countries into following its climate lead, while ensuring a level playing field for domestic industry. Chris Bryant | Bloomberg, Washington Post, "Wait Until Donald Trump Hears About the Carbon Border Tax," 4 Dec. 2019 The kind that the EU has fostered and cajoled into existence in other, smaller members? Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "Why Isn’t Macron an Illiberal Pinup?," 26 Sep. 2019 And Mr Macron has learned the hard way that efforts to charm and cajole Mr Trump into better behaviour are usually in vain. The Economist, "Emmanuel Macron reclaims France’s international role," 29 Aug. 2019 Outreach workers often lament the difficulty of cajoling a name out of people living on the street and fringes of New York, where a person’s name is sometimes his or her only possession. Michael Gold, New York Times, "Squatters Were In and Out of Abandoned House Where 3 Died in Fire," 22 Nov. 2019 Over the nearly three years of his presidency, Trump has flattered and cajoled dozens of foreign leaders with meetings at the White House and at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. Washington Post, "Location, location: Why Ukraine leader aimed for Oval Office," 7 Nov. 2019 On internal divisions and cajoling governments alike, Lagarde's political skills could come in handy. Julia Horowitz, CNN, "The man who saved the euro bows out amid 'unprecedented' dissent at Europe's central bank," 24 Oct. 2019 Currentzis is an emotive and physically expressive conductor: urging, inviting, cajoling, and thrusting along with his musicians, imparting a presence that feels both corporal and psychological. Joshua Yaffa, The New Yorker, "Teodor Currentzis Brings His Intense Verdi to New York," 18 Nov. 2019 The forest was quiet except for the sounds of machetes hacking and young voices cajoling, complaining, arguing, and laughing. Frank Bures, Outside Online, "How a Midwestern Survival Camp Is Uniting the Outdoors," 17 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cajole.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cajole

1630, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for cajole

French cajoler

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Time Traveler for cajole

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The first known use of cajole was in 1630

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Last Updated

23 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Cajole.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 19 January 2020.

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More Definitions for cajole


How to pronounce cajole (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of cajole

: to persuade someone to do something or to give you something by making promises or saying nice things


ca·​jole | \ kə-ˈjōl How to pronounce cajole (audio) \
cajoled; cajoling

Kids Definition of cajole

: to coax or persuade especially by flattery or false promises She cajoled me into accompanying her.

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More from Merriam-Webster on cajole

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cajole

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cajole

Spanish Central: Translation of cajole

Nglish: Translation of cajole for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cajole for Arabic Speakers

Comments on cajole

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to insert between existing elements

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