coax

verb
\ ˈkōks \
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 \

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

China has been praised by Trump for ramping up economic pressure on the North that the U.S. believes helped coax Kim to the negotiating table. Washington Post, "US seeks to assuage Asian allies after North Korea summit," 14 June 2018 The left-right bass lines get my feet stepping, whereas the drums channel my hip movements and the weightless, carefree melodies often coax my arms from my sides toward the sky. Morgan Enos, Billboard, "Phil Cook's Americana Delicacy 'Steampowered Blues' Is Pure, Simple & Immediately Appealing: Premiere," 3 Apr. 2018 If financial and military pressure really is what coaxed Kim to this pass, then the pressure must be maintained. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "North Korea’s Negotiation Play," 6 Mar. 2018 Assistants say that Belichick coaxes them toward growth by gradually expanding their duties. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, "Bill Belichick the teacher: How Patriots coach imparts wisdom to assistants," 31 Jan. 2018 In the past, the heat has coaxed out swimmers ahead of the start of the official beach season. Tessa Weinberg, chicagotribune.com, "A nighttime drowning in Lake Michigan - and no city lifeguards on duty prompts calls for change," 12 July 2018 For steamy hours on end last week, Washington’s temperature could not be coaxed below 80 degrees. Martin Weil, Washington Post, "Steam, sweat and swelter is followed by a day of meterological delight," 7 July 2018 More fan videos show Beyoncé getting coaxed into exiting the stage down the ladder, making her descent while wearing thigh-high heeled boots. Maeve Mcdermott, USA TODAY, "Beyoncé shown stranded on floating stage in apparent concert mishap in Poland," 2 July 2018 The guy was reluctant at first but by the end of his performance, O'Callaghan had coaxed into shouting along. Ed Masley, azcentral, "Vans Warped Tour says goodbye to Phoenix in its final summer on the road," 29 June 2018

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

9 Sep 2018

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 \
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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