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

Body camera footage from Lates’ arrest shows that agents and officers attempted to coax Lates out of the minivan. Eric Heisig, cleveland.com, "Cleveland church leader detained by ICE after cops break minivan window says deportation risks daughter’s life," 10 Sep. 2019 But Wright still managed to coax an outright Big East title out of his relatively young team even as his vaunted five-star point guard struggled to earn playing time and eventually transferred out. Dan Greene, SI.com, "Big East Offseason Report: Power Rankings and Burning Questions for 2019-20," 9 July 2019 Still, there is clearly talent here and perhaps the right system could coax another 2016-type season out of him. Zak Keefer, Indianapolis Star, "Top 10 NFL free agents by position: Offense," 26 Feb. 2018 The pulsing crowd moved from car to car in a ringed formation around the fairgrounds as Johnson coaxed each ancient engine to life with the help of his assistant, Jenny Veoa, who had spent all summer assisting in the restoration of the vehicles. Aaron Calvin, USA TODAY, "A treasure trove of muscle cars: Iowa man sells nearly 100 vehicles after decades of collecting," 16 Sep. 2019 That combination was enough to coax people to Trinidad from thousands of miles away. Martin J. Smith, Los Angeles Times, "He made this town the world’s ‘sex-change capital,’ but he’s not honored here," 12 Sep. 2019 Not to be outdone, Princeton School District upped the ante when athletic director Joe Roberts coaxed superintendent Tom Burton to Viking Stadium. Scott Springer, Cincinnati.com, "Can your high school administrator haul in a football? One catch went viral," 9 Sep. 2019 To coax great performances out of the pooches, Ventimiglia bonded with them off camera and was liberal with the petting. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, "Milo Ventimiglia wanted to bring his furry Art of Racing in the Rain costar home with him," 6 Aug. 2019 Millard has a way with vegetables, coaxing maximum flavor out of asparagus or carrots, snap peas or mushrooms. Michael Russell, oregonlive.com, "Everything Southeast Portland’s Coquine does, it does well (2019 review)," 4 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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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Dictionary Entries near coax

coattailed

coat-tree

coauthor

coax

coaxal

coaxation

coaxial

Statistics for coax

Last Updated

7 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for coax

The first known use of coax was in 1581

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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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on coax

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with coax

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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