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 Cigna on Thursday joined other major corporations looking to coax workers into getting the COVID-19 vaccine by offering its roughly 65,000 U.S. employees $200 each and paid time off to get the shots. Kate Gibson, CBS News, "Cigna offers workers $200 and paid time off to get vaccinated," 22 Apr. 2021 That might not be enough to coax workers back into the fray. NBC News, "Shipping boxes, delivering shots, manning the sales floor: Vaccine jobs boom doesn't match all skill sets," 19 Apr. 2021 In school, she's befriended by the goofy Lydia (later McCarthy), who tries to coax some fun out of her. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'Thunder Force' teams Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer in a weak superhero spoof," 9 Apr. 2021 Now some are adding incentives to coax workers into using their bedrock benefit. Chip Cutter, WSJ, "The Latest Workplace Perk: Cash Bonuses for Taking Vacations," 9 Apr. 2021 Back in 2012, a Serious Eats blog post had upended burger orthodoxy, arguing that pressing down on your burger meat wasn’t just allowed, but actually helped coax maximum flavor from your meat (via the Maillard reaction). Michael Russell, oregonlive, "Portland’s 14 best smash burgers, reviewed and ranked," 30 Mar. 2021 Raising both hands above his head, wiggling his fingers to coax noise out of the few thousand fans inside American Airlines Center, Doncic gazed into the stands, his work all but done for Dallas (21-18). Houston Mitchell Assistant Sports Editor, Los Angeles Times, "The Sports Report: Clippers fall to Dallas Mavericks," 18 Mar. 2021 Fleetwood was in touch with Green over the years and tried to coax him into a larger return to music. Rob Tannenbaum, Los Angeles Times, "Before Stevie and Lindsey, Peter Green was the soul of Fleetwood Mac. Just ask Mick Fleetwood," 24 Mar. 2021 The state earlier this week released its plan to open vaccination eligibility to all adults on April 19, and a few sunny, warm days have begun to coax residents out of their homes and winter coats. BostonGlobe.com, "‘We’re in a race against time to vaccinate people’: COVID-19 rates are stable in Mass., but stalled progress is a concern, experts say," 18 Mar. 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, "4 Ways to Extend Your HDMI Cables," 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, "Utah is a leader in cloud seeding. Is it working?," 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, "Fauci Is Not Your God," 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, "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

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

6 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Coax.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/coax. Accessed 16 May. 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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for coax

Nglish: Translation of coax for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of coax for Arabic Speakers

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