cajole

verb
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

Other Words from cajole

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

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.

Examples of cajole in a Sentence

cajoled her into doing his laundry for him
Recent Examples on the Web Kishida should take that support out for a ride and cajole his party to get serious once and for all about raising Japan’s economic game. William Pesek, Forbes, 14 Apr. 2022 One feels, in the strategy, the desire not just to find new markets but to create them, to gently cajole almost-REI customers into shoppers walking through the door. Amanda Loudin, Outside Online, 16 Aug. 2022 Park operators can direct traffic using the app by notifying visitors where the shortest lines are and offering food and merchandise promotions to cajole them to other areas. Robbie Whelan, WSJ, 27 Aug. 2022 Global warming is likely to hit very dangerous levels, and US efforts to cajole other countries to decarbonize faster will be stymied by insufficient action at home. Jeffrey Sachs, CNN, 19 Aug. 2022 Not long ago, Manchin was the target of intense lobbying by a President who hoped to flatter and cajole him into coöperation. Evan Osnos, The New Yorker, 21 July 2022 The two men, the committee showed, were intimately involved in efforts to cajole state officials to throw the election to Mr. Trump and in pressuring Vice President Mike Pence to single-handedly grant Mr. Trump a victory in the Electoral College. New York Times, 23 June 2022 Once again, public health advocates had to organize and pressure and cajole the administration to follow the science. Dana Singiser, STAT, 8 June 2022 Developers have tried to cajole him into selling with eye-popping offers. Lila Seidman, Los Angeles Times, 12 July 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of cajole

1630, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for cajole

borrowed from French cajoler "to give much attention to, make a fuss over, flatter, persuade with flattery," going back to Middle French cajoller "to flatter out of self-interest," perhaps the same verb as Middle French cageoller "to vocalize, sing (of a jay or other bird)," expressive formation of uncertain origin

Note: Middle French cageoller was explained by Wartburg, et al., Französisches etymologisches Wörterbuch, as a permutation, under the influence of cage cage entry 1, of gaioler "to chatter, cackle (of birds)," a derivative of Picard gaiole "birdcage," corresponding to Old French geole, jaole "cage, prison" (see jail entry 1). According to Dubois-Mitterand-Dauzat, Dictionaire étymologique et historique du français (Larousse, 1993, continuing the etymology from earlier editons of Dauzat), the meaning "to flatter" is due to association of cageoller with enjôler "to captivate by flattery" (Old French enjaoiler "to imprison"). Alternatively, the two formations ("to sing, vocalize" and "to flatter") have been regarded as of independent origin; the first may either be an onomatopoeic outgrowth of cacarder "to honk (of a goose)," or a rearrangement of *jacoler, based on jacques, a dialectal name for a jay; the second is conjecturally a merger of enjôler and caresser "to stroke, caress entry 1" (thus E. Gamillscheg, Etymologisches Wörterbuch der französischen Sprache, 2. Auflage, Winter, 1969).

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caji

cajole

cajolingly

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Last Updated

24 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Cajole.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cajole. Accessed 7 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for cajole

cajole

verb
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.

More from Merriam-Webster on cajole

Nglish: Translation of cajole for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cajole for Arabic Speakers

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