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 Cubs mounted their first rally in the third when Maloney walked the bases loaded with two outs before coaxing Billy Williams into a groundout. Mark Schmetzer, Cincinnati.com, "Top games in Cincinnati Reds history: No. 30 – Jim Maloney's 1965 no-hitter against the Cubs," 10 July 2019 Punctuating the soft babbling of water meandering lazily downstream, nature takes over for technology, coaxing me slowly to consciousness before my phone alarm has a chance to ring. al.com, "Take a luxury camping trip to the Great Smoky Mountains," 9 July 2019 Carroll said that Trump asked her to help him buy a present for a woman and eventually coaxed her into trying on some lingerie. William Cummings, USA TODAY, "Writer E. Jean Carroll made a claim of sexual assault against Trump. Here's what we know," 25 June 2019 Cameron Borthwick-Jackson could play a very similar role for Stoke if Jones can work his magic again and coax the potential out of the 22-year-old. SI.com, "Stoke City: 7 Players Nathan Jones Should Look to Buy This Summer as Potters Chase Promotion," 15 June 2019 After the dog appeared at Church Station and took refuge under the lip of the platform, station agent Cathsai Kwong climbed onto the trackway and coaxed the pup into his arms. Steve Rubenstein, SFChronicle.com, "Person, puppy rescued from BART, Muni tracks," 6 June 2019 Roenis Elias allowed two hits and a run in the ninth, before coaxing outfielder Jonathan Schoop into a deep fly out on the warning track to end the game. Mike Vorel, The Seattle Times, "Back-to-back homers lift Mariners over streaking Twins in series finale," 19 May 2019 Sometimes, in the early morning hours, the crater emulates its origins when the summer sun coaxes a smoke-like mist from the dewy swale. Mare Czinar, azcentral, "This peaceful Flagstaff hike belies its explosive origins," 27 June 2019 Sherif won the next three games, breaking Hernandez's serve for a 6-5 edge, then coaxing two long returns to claim the opening set. Scott French, latimes.com, "Huntington Beach's Lawee Sherif advances to USTA SoCal Junior Sectional semifinals," 21 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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

15 Jul 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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