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 Doctors should not try to force treatments upon patients that conflict with their values, and patients should not try to coerce doctors into providing treatments that are medically inappropriate. Sarah C. Hull, STAT, "Not so conscientious objection: When can doctors refuse to treat?," 8 Nov. 2019 The suggestions complement another draft law, issued last month, to coerce owners to retire vehicles older than 15 years. Sangeeta Tanwar, Quartz India, "India’s proposed vehicle-scrapping policy may not be the right pill for its auto industry," 18 Oct. 2019 During his three days as a star witness in a racketeering trial, the rapper Tekashi69 portrayed the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods as a ruthless enterprise whose members used intimidation and violence to coerce enemies and commit crimes. Colin Moynihan, New York Times, "Tekashi69’s Testimony Leads to Guilty Verdicts for 2 Gang Members," 3 Oct. 2019 Covington used his position as a church leader to coerce employees, many of whom were members of the congregation, to comply, prosecutors have said. Jonathan Drew, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Member of secretive church gets probation in benefits scheme," 27 Sep. 2019 Covington used his position as a church leader to coerce employees, many of whom were members of the congregation, to comply, prosecutors have said. Washington Post, "Member of secretive church gets probation in benefits scheme," 27 Sep. 2019 Using the presidency to coerce a foreign power into undermining a political opponent would be, by any measure, profoundly corrupt. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Donald Trump’s Best Ally Against Impeachment," 23 Sep. 2019 On the other hand, aid can be used to coerce journalists to change their norms and practices unduly. Herman Wasserman, Quartz Africa, "Donor-funded African journalism is getting caught between the US and China world view," 9 July 2019 The trade representative’s office Tuesday released a 50-page report on Chinese trade practices, an update on a March study that alleged Beijing used various techniques to coerce U.S. firms to hand over leading-edge technology. Bob Davis, WSJ, "U.S. Trade Representative Criticizes ‘Unfair’ Practices by China," 20 Nov. 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

11 Nov 2019

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
How to pronounce coerce (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for coerce

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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