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

How-To Geek has an excellent explainer on how to coax Linux software into running on compatible Chromebooks today. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "How Windows and Chrome quietly made 2019 the year of Linux on the desktop," 10 May 2019 TARGETING Never Cruisers, two big travel players are leveraging potent brand names to coax the reluctant aboard. Christian L. Wright, WSJ, "These Cruise Lines Want to Seduce People Who Hate Cruises," 7 May 2019 The Fourth used to mean cold beer, grilled corn and coaxing the dog out from under the bed after a loud burst of bottle rockets. Jason Gay, WSJ, "How the NBA Stole the Fourth of July," 28 June 2018 Tempering, Pidathala learned, was the process of heating spices in hot fat to coax out their flavors. Tejal Rao, New York Times, "A Spicy, Crunchy Indian Fish Fry the Way Her Grandmother Liked It," 15 May 2018 Next up, a chef’s knife to cut the artichoke in half and lastly a melon baller or measuring spoon to coax out the hairy fuzz inside the heart. Claire Perez, Sun-Sentinel.com, "How to prep artichokes," 10 Mar. 2018 Grébaut is a master at coaxing out the flavors in every ingredient and playing on texture. Condé Nast Traveler, "24 Best Restaurants in Paris," 4 Mar. 2018 Then, allow the item to soak for a short time, about 5-15 minutes, to coax out more dirt and grime. Jolie Kerr, Town & Country, "How to Keep Your Lilly Pulitzer Clothes Looking Great All Summer Long," 16 June 2017 Afterward the researchers, who described their findings in the journal Nature, were able to coax cells to... Daniela Hernandez, WSJ, "Scientists Restore Some Brain Function After Death in Animal Experiments," 17 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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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Dictionary Entries near coax

coattailed

coat-tree

coauthor

coax

coaxal

coaxation

coaxial

Statistics for coax

Last Updated

3 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for coax

The first known use of coax was in 1581

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More Definitions for coax

coax

verb

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with coax

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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