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 Farmers across the African Sahel are regreening vast tracts of semi-desert by coaxing tree roots back to life. CNN, "Fires and floods prove world leaders must act now on climate change," 23 Jan. 2020 And his rapport with DSO musicians was welcomed: coaxing the best out of the players while offering critical but constructive feedback. Brian Mccollum, Detroit Free Press, "A new Detroit maestro: DSO names young Italian conductor Jader Bignamini as music director," 22 Jan. 2020 Their research is leading the biotechnology industry toward treatments that could reverse the damage by coaxing synapses to regrow and give people back their normal, clamorous lives. Popular Science, "Hidden hearing loss is hitting people of all ages. Neuroscientists are still debating why.," 21 Jan. 2020 To them, technological progress is the wellspring of long-run growth, and the only interesting question is how best to coax more innovation out of the system. The Economist, "Economists explore the consequences of steering technological progress," 18 Jan. 2020 Not that a heavy hand in the offense wasn’t a Kelly strength at some of his previous stops and potentially at ND too, but the taffy pull that makes Notre Dame different in terms of demands coaxed that approach into obsolescence. Eric Hansen, Indianapolis Star, "Hansen: Naming Tommy Rees as offensive coordinator still doesn't complete ND's big picture," 15 Jan. 2020 If so, that might be enough to coax a grin out of Zimmer. Ben Shpigel, New York Times, "Green Bay’s Win Over Minnesota Opens Up the N.F.C. Seeding Race," 24 Dec. 2019 Lyndhurst Police Chief Patrick Rhode said in a statement that crisis and SWAT negotiators were being used to try and coax the man out of the house. Adam Ferrise, cleveland, "Gunfire in Lyndhurst prompts SWAT standoff, police say," 5 Dec. 2019 Be careful not to coax growth along so rapidly that the blossoms blast open and fall apart. NBC News, "Bring spring indoors early — very early — by forcing bulbs," 4 Dec. 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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Statistics for coax

Last Updated

28 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Coax.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/coax. Accessed 29 January 2020.

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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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