coerce

verb
co·​erce | \ kō-ˈərs How to pronounce coerce (audio) \
coerced; coercing

Definition of coerce

transitive verb

1 : to compel to an act or choice was coerced into agreeing abusers who coerce their victims into silence
2 : to achieve by force or threat coerce compliance coerce obedience
3 : to restrain or dominate by force religion in the past has tried to coerce the irreligious— W. R. Inge

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Other Words from coerce

coercible \ kō-​ˈər-​sə-​bəl How to pronounce coercible (audio) \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for coerce

force, compel, coerce, constrain, oblige mean to make someone or something yield. force is the general term and implies the overcoming of resistance by the exertion of strength, power, or duress. forced to flee for their lives compel typically suggests overcoming of resistance or unwillingness by an irresistible force. compelled to admit my mistake coerce suggests overcoming resistance or unwillingness by actual or threatened violence or pressure. coerced into signing over the rights constrain suggests the effect of a force or circumstance that limits freedom of action or choice. constrained by conscience oblige implies the constraint of necessity, law, or duty. felt obliged to go

Examples of coerce in a Sentence

A confession was coerced from the suspect by police. was coerced into signing the document

Recent Examples on the Web

The investigation concluded that Rao had not only fabricated data and plagiarism, but that the scientist also had tried to coerce kickbacks from his underlings. Adam Marcus, BostonGlobe.com, "Retraction Watch: Fall from grace," 29 June 2018 The list is meant to coerce these countries into improving. Satoshi Sugiyama, New York Times, "U.N. Reports Sharp Increase in Children Killed or Maimed in Conflicts," 27 June 2018 Months later, Gach and a handful of other people with similar stories sued the Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection, arguing that they were coerced into unlocking their phones. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "How Face ID could be a game-changer for aggressive US border agents," 1 Oct. 2018 Republicans, meanwhile, have largely targeted Manchin, Donnelly, and Heitkamp, betting that their electoral prospects could coerce them into bucking party loyalty. Alana Abramson, Time, "Pro-Trump Group Launches Ads Urging Red State Democrats to Confirm Brett Kavanaugh," 11 July 2018 The key witness, a teenager, said he was coerced by authorities to ID Porter. Gregory Pratt, chicagotribune.com, "Cook County prosecutors rebuff inmate's innocence claim from 2002 dice game slaying; defense attorney vows court 'battle'," 17 Apr. 2018 Some might see her question as proof that Jen coerced the kids into performing. Glamour, "Broken Harts, Episode 3: 'The Perfect People'," 18 Dec. 2018 John Floyd had long insisted he was plied with drinks, beaten and coerced into confessing to the similar murders of two men — one in a French Quarter apartment and another in a downtown hotel — days apart. Kevin Mcgill, The Seattle Times, "Free after 36 years, he won’t face prosecution in 1980 death," 20 Nov. 2018 The jurors disagreed on whether the confession could have been coerced. CBS News, "Etan Patz case: 1979 disappearance of NYC boy continues to haunt investigators," 15 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'coerce.' 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 coerce

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for coerce

Middle English coarcen, coercen, borrowed from Anglo-French *cohercer, borrowed (with conjugation change) from Latin coercēre "to confine, shut up, restrict, restrain," from co- co- + arcēre "to hold in, prevent from approaching, keep away" — more at ark

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Statistics for coerce

Last Updated

15 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for coerce

The first known use of coerce was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for coerce

coerce

verb

English Language Learners Definition of coerce

: to make (someone) do something by using force or threats
: to get (something) by using force or threats

coerce

verb
co·​erce | \ kō-ˈərs How to pronounce coerce (audio) \
coerced; coercing

Kids Definition of coerce

: force entry 2 sense 1, compel He was coerced into giving up his lunch money.
co·​erce | \ kō-ˈərs How to pronounce coerce (audio) \
coerced; coercing

Legal Definition of coerce

: to subject (a person) to coercion — compare importune, solicit

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More from Merriam-Webster on coerce

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with coerce

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for coerce

Spanish Central: Translation of coerce

Nglish: Translation of coerce for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of coerce for Arabic Speakers

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