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

Did You Know?

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."

Examples of cajole in a Sentence

cajoled her into doing his laundry for him

Recent Examples on the Web

Detectives bullied, cajoled, and lied to him about failing the testing. Michelle Malkin, National Review, "From Convicted Murderer to Exoneree to Law Grad," 5 June 2019 Deborah Elms, executive director at the Asian Trade Center in Singapore, said the U.S. is using the reviews to cajole countries into negotiating bilateral trade agreements or making other concessions. Josh Zumbrun, WSJ, "U.S. Takes Trade Fight to Smaller Nations," 12 Aug. 2018 In much the way her family had cajoled her to face the world again, Darby was doing the same for Dave. Andrea Atkins, Woman's Day, "3 Cinema-Worthy Love Stories," 14 Jan. 2011 President Donald Trump, who was once happy to tie his success to the stock market, has gone quiet on the matter except to try to cajole the Federal Reserve. Emily Stewart, Vox, "What’s wrong with the stock market right now, explained," 18 Dec. 2018 In an effort to cajole violators to pay up, city marshalls will be booting cars whose owners owe more than $350 in traffic fines. Steve Rousseau, Popular Mechanics, "Can the Parking Boot Be Beat?," 6 June 2013 Though Cramer entered the race only after cajoling from President Donald Trump, the 57-year-old career politician is now plainly relishing the fight against Heitkamp. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "The GOP's Pollyanna problem," 20 Aug. 2018 The increasingly critical tone from allies is a shift after leaders spent the past year and a half seeking to woo and cajole the American president. Washington Post, "Trump to face tough crowd at G-7 amid tariff fight," 7 June 2018 Bieniemy prodded and cajoled his replacements, Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West, into legitimate NFL contributors who remain on the team to this day. Terez A. Paylor, kansascity, "Chiefs promote Eric Bieniemy to offensive coordinator," 9 Jan. 2018

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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Cajon Pass

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Last Updated

24 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for cajole

The first known use of cajole was in 1630

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cajole

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cajole

Spanish Central: Translation of cajole

Nglish: Translation of cajole for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cajole for Arabic Speakers

Comments on cajole

What made you want to look up cajole? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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