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 Deputy District Attorney Jalyn Wang said Fleer sought out young girls, offered them money in order to coax them into meeting with him and encouraged the girls to arrange for their other young friends to meet him. City News Service, San Diego Union-Tribune, 18 June 2021 Early on, Marvin had to coax him to eat the dinners that his stepmother cooked. Rachel Swan, San Francisco Chronicle, 24 May 2021 The sunlight will help the tomatoes develop a little more color and gently coax them into ripeness. Paul Stephen, San Antonio Express-News, 10 May 2021 Huong writes letters and sends cassettes, trying to find her husband in Vietnam and coax him to rejoin her and the boys. May-lee Chai Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, 7 May 2021 The witness said Soto’s fellow park workers arrived and tried to coax him to get up shortly before the NYPD came. Fox News, 11 July 2021 While farmed silkworms can spit out nine Eiffel Towers’ worth of cocoons every year, scientists haven’t given up on trying to coax the same from other creatures. Max G. Levy, Wired, 28 June 2021 That situation is tied to her past, with her psychologist (Tracy Letts, who also adapted the screenplay from the novel by A.J. Finn) gently trying to coax her out, thus far to no avail. Brian Lowry, CNN, 14 May 2021 Anna sees a therapist (screenwriter Tracy Letts, pulling double duty here) once a week, who’s trying to coax her into going outside. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 14 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 Use the least amount of coax cable to reach from your antenna or splitter to each TV. Jim Rossman, Dallas News, 20 June 2019

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

coauthor

coax

coaxal

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Statistics for coax

Last Updated

29 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Coax.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/coax. Accessed 4 Aug. 2021.

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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.

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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