Definition of cajole
- had to cajole them into going
- cajoled money from his parents
- cajoled himself with thoughts of escape
- —Robertson Davies
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
cajoled her into doing his laundry for him
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Cajole comes from a French verb, cajoler, which is all about cajoling, coaxing, and chattering. 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 cage, from which we borrowed our own word 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."
First Known Use: 1630See Words from the same year
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