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)

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?

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 the 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 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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Isolation, along with cobwebs on the golf bag and lounge chair, can be the price a leader pays for trying to coax workers back to the office. Callum Borchers, WSJ, 18 Aug. 2022 One senator mused that the former Treasury Secretary—who helped coax Manchin back to the bargaining table, with reassurances about correcting inflation—should be put on a Forever stamp. Jonathan Blitzer, The New Yorker, 5 Aug. 2022 Dylan's foster owner, caring for the dog on behalf of Jericho's Wish Animal Rescue, tried to coax Dylan back to the pipe's entrance but couldn't get the canine to budge. Bellamy Richardson, PEOPLE.com, 25 July 2022 Zingman gently applied pressure to resolve the tension and coax the bones back into place. Washington Post, 27 Dec. 2021 Hybrid working, a mixture of both remote and in-office working, is quickly becoming popular as a means of providing more flexibility to people who have been working remotely, and to coax people back into the office where needed. Charles Towers-clark, Forbes, 28 Oct. 2021 One explanation may be that wage gains still aren’t strong enough to coax some people back to work — the Bureau of Labor Statistics said that hourly earnings rose by only about 0.6% for all civilian workers. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 12 Oct. 2021 Walker then battled Doval for 10 pitches to coax the Diamondbacks’ third walk of the inning, loading the bases. Nick Piecoro, The Arizona Republic, 6 July 2022 For Mallinckrodt, McKinsey consultants walked factory floors and monitored production data, recommending how the company might coax greater yields from the same base of raw materials and speed up manufacturing lines. New York Times, 29 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun What this suggests, Pascual-Torner said, is that DNA that’s normally in storage is brought out during the transformation, and genes that coax cells to reset go into overdrive. Veronique Greenwood, BostonGlobe.com, 6 Sep. 2022 This means existing household coax installations, which generally make use of only a single cable running to each connected room, won't be of much use. John Herrman, Popular Mechanics, 1 Apr. 2021 The goal of cloud seeding is to increase the number of particles in the storm and coax snow to fall in the mountains. Zak Podmore, The Salt Lake Tribune, 28 Mar. 2021 His job is to relay information to the public, not threaten doom, or coax or trick us into doing things. David Harsanyi, National Review, 22 Feb. 2021 Start with your internet modem, the device that most likely has a coax cable connecting it to your wall. Frank Bajak, USA TODAY, 20 Mar. 2020 The Internet service provider terminated their coax in a small closet off the entry hall. Jim Salter, Ars Technica, 8 Jan. 2020 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, 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, 1 Aug. 2019 See More

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.

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

3 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Coax.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/coax. Accessed 26 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for coax

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.

More from Merriam-Webster on coax

Nglish: Translation of coax for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of coax for Arabic Speakers

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