coax

verb
\ ˈkōks How to pronounce coax (audio) \
coaxed; coaxing; coaxes

Definition of coax

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to influence or gently urge by caressing or flattering : wheedle coaxed him into going
2 : to draw, gain, or persuade by means of gentle urging or flattery unable to coax an answer out of him coaxing consumers to buy new cars
3 : to manipulate with great perseverance and usually with considerable effort toward a desired state or activity coax a fire to burn is optimistic that stem cells can be coaxed into growing into replacement tissue for failing organs
4 obsolete : fondle, pet

coax

noun
co·​ax | \ ˈkō-ˌaks How to pronounce coax (audio) \

Definition of coax (Entry 2 of 2)

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Choose the Right Synonym for coax

Verb

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?

Verb

In the days of yore, if you made a cokes of someone, you made a fool of them. Cokes-a now-obsolete word for "fool"-is believed to be the source of our verb coax, which was first used in the 16th century (with the spelling cokes) to mean "to make a fool of." Soon, the verb also took on the kinder meaning of "to make a pet of." As might be expected, the act of cokesing was sometimes done for personal gain. By the 17th century, the word was being used in today's senses that refer to influencing or persuading people by kind acts or words. By the early 19th century, the spelling cokes had fallen out of use, along with the meanings "to make a fool of" and "to make a pet of."

Examples of coax in a Sentence

Verb It took almost an hour to coax the cat down from the tree. She tried to coax a raise from her boss. He was unable to coax an answer out of her. He coaxed the fire to burn by blowing on it. The plant is difficult to coax into bloom.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Helena was coaxed into four consecutive three-and-outs in the second half, and Ward (4-yard rushing touchdown) and place-kicker Jaren Van Winkle (30-yard field goal) iced the contest in the fourth quarter. al, "No. 9 Clay-Chalkville shuts out No. 7 Helena in top-10 playoff showdown," 9 Nov. 2019 First, there was the matter of coaxing Zellweger to the interview in the first place: As a publicist kept emailing me to push her arrival back, our lunch date crept closer to happy hour. New York Times, "Renée Zellweger Will Be Back in a Moment," 25 Sep. 2019 The company could head off a revenue slowdown by coaxing users to subscribe to the new services. Mark Gurman, Los Angeles Times, "Apple said to be aiming for Apple TV+ launch in November at $9.99 a month," 19 Aug. 2019 Throughout One Child Nation, Wang never indicts her subjects, nor is her interview technique one of coaxing out truths. Brandon Yu, The Atlantic, "One Child Nation Paints a Harrowing Picture of an Infamous Policy," 13 Aug. 2019 Designated as Great Outdoors Month, the Illinois Office of Tourism rounded up some ideas for the outdoorsy (and not-so-outdoorsy) types in hopes of coaxing residents and visitors alike to enjoy Mother Nature in Illinois. Darcel Rockett, chicagotribune.com, "6 ways to celebrate Great Outdoors Month in Illinois," 13 June 2019 Both him and, now, indirectly, his team, where the lessons of navigating the pressure of the last seconds of a playoff game dovetail nicely to the challenges of coaxing fish from the bottom of a distant lake. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "How basketball helped make Adrian College a powerhouse — in bass fishing," 30 June 2018 Obaid-Chinoy is adept at coaxing people to share their stories. Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker, "An Activist-Filmmaker Tackles Patriarchy in Pakistan," 6 Feb. 2016 The Raiders tried to coax Doss into coming back on Saturday with an offer. Jon Becker, The Mercury News, "Raiders bring back wide receiver Keelan Doss from Alameda High," 8 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Connect the coax that will enter the house to the bottom. Connect a 10-gauge or thicker copper wire to the bottom of the grounding block. Ron Hurtibise, sun-sentinel.com, "Getting an outdoor antenna to pull in blacked-out CBS? You could create a fire hazard.," 2 Aug. 2019 From the outdoor Yagi, a leg of coax cabling needs to be routed indoors and fed to the signal booster, which then has an output port which connects to an indoor panel antenna via another coax run. Jim Salter, Ars Technica, "Ars reviews three cell signal boosters—and they actually work," 1 Aug. 2019 Use the least amount of coax cable to reach from your antenna or splitter to each TV. Jim Rossman, Dallas News, "Splitting your antenna to feed multiple TVs might require an amplifier," 20 June 2019 To it all work, Daytona put in 1.3 million feet of copper wiring, 500,000 feet of coax and 150 miles of fiberoptics, including more than 75 telecommunication rooms to house the CDW storage and networking solutions. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, "The Tech-Forward Reinvention of Daytona Speedway," 15 Feb. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'coax.' 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 coax

Verb

1581, in the meaning defined at sense 4

Noun

1945, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for coax

Verb

earlier cokes, from cokes simpleton

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Last Updated

2 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Coax.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/coax. Accessed 6 December 2019.

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More Definitions for coax

coax

verb
How to pronounce coax (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of coax

: to influence or persuade (a person or animal) to do something by talking in a gentle and friendly way
: to get (something) by talking in a gentle and friendly way
: to cause (something) to do something by making a careful and continual effort

coax

verb
\ ˈkōks How to pronounce coax (audio) \
coaxed; coaxing

Kids Definition of coax

1 : to influence by gentle urging, special attention, or flattering She coaxed her kitty out of the tree.
2 : to get or win by means of gentle urging or flattery He coaxed a raise from the boss.

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More from Merriam-Webster on coax

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for coax

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with coax

Spanish Central: Translation of coax

Nglish: Translation of coax for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of coax for Arabic Speakers

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