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 Garrett finds him immediately and Malick tries to threaten Deke in order to coax his grandmother into giving up Fitz’s location. Christian Holub, EW.com, "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. recap: The end is near," 6 Aug. 2020 Mr Hume and Mr Clinton worked in risky lockstep to coax the champions of armed Irish nationalism into respectable politics. The Economist, "Obituary John Hume’s vision of peace in Northern Ireland is only half-fulfilled," 5 Aug. 2020 Salas said the man, believed to have been Roy Den Hollander, who later killed himself, was carrying a FedEx package — an apparent ruse to coax the family to open the door. Tracey Tully, BostonGlobe.com, "Judge whose son was killed by misogynistic lawyer speaks out," 4 Aug. 2020 Anaiah wore her Spider-Man gown to surgery and for three days after before Garcia could coax her out of it to launder. Karina Bland, The Arizona Republic, "Marvel-ous hospital gowns bring out the superhero in young patients," 2 Aug. 2020 Until then, a defensive coaching staff that prides itself on two things above all others — its resourcefulness and ability to coax the most out of players — has an unexpected chance to demonstrate both. Ben Goessling, Star Tribune, "Vikings are likely to stand pat at nose tackle, even with Michael Pierce's opt-out," 29 July 2020 The 45-year-old Adams, instead, wants to gently coax the country to safety and good health. Washington Post, "Surgeon General Jerome Adams may be the nicest guy in the Trump administration. But is that what America needs right now?," 12 July 2020 Meditation helps me coax myself out of my ruminative mind and into the physical, present moment. Serena Coady, SELF, "If You're Bad at Meditating, Can I Suggest Knot Tying?," 10 July 2020 The Ferrari guys must have been very crafty to coax the F40 over the EPA's hurdles. Rich Ceppos, Car and Driver, "Tested: 1991 Ferrari F40 Feasts on the Timid," 2 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Start with your internet modem, the device that most likely has a coax cable connecting it to your wall. Frank Bajak, USA TODAY, "Home internet jammed up? Try these steps before upgrading," 20 Mar. 2020 The Internet service provider terminated their coax in a small closet off the entry hall. Jim Salter, Ars Technica, "How Ars tests Wi-Fi gear (and you can, too)," 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, "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

9 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Coax.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/coax. Accessed 11 Aug. 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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