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 The Raiders tried to coax Doss into coming back on Saturday with an offer. Jon Becker, The Mercury News, "Raiders bring back wide receiver Keelan Doss from Alameda High," 8 Sep. 2019 Well, there are libertarians and there are Libertarians, and some in the latter camp are trying to coax Amash into running for the Libertarian Party presidential nomination in 2020. Lucy Steigerwald, The New Republic, "Justin Amash and the Libertarian Future," 29 July 2019 The agents were reportedly trying to coax the father and son (who were leaving their home) from a van parked in their driveway, which the agents reportedly blocked in. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "ICE Detention of Father Stopped by Nashville Neighbors and Activists," 23 July 2019 The party will try again to coax voters away from Trump's vision of America. Lisa Mascaro, chicagotribune.com, "President Trump vs. Dems: ‘Racist,’ ‘socialist’ lines drawn for 2020," 18 July 2019 Take a player like Rose Lavelle, whose sublime skill in midfield Ellis has been trying to coax out on a more consistent basis. Andrew Keh, New York Times, "Raining Goals on Thailand Wasn’t an Accident. It Was the U.S. Game Plan.," 12 June 2019 After Mary made the call to 911, 10 police officers and two trappers arrived and spent two hours trying to coax the gator out. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "An 11-Foot Alligator Broke Into Somebody’s Kitchen in Florida," 3 June 2019 An Oregon State Police trooper who specializes in crisis intervention is among the emergency responders trying to coax the student out, Clark said. Everton Bailey Jr., OregonLive.com, "Oregon State student in apparent crisis causes dorm floor to be shut down," 24 Apr. 2018 Two deputies coaxed the goat into a patrol car and gave it a ride to the San Martin Animal Shelter. Thy Vo, The Mercury News, "Goat, lost in Gilroy, hitches a ride in police car," 8 Sep. 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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Last Updated

4 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Coax.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/coaxed. Accessed 21 November 2019.

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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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