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

Research published last year also found worse psychological well-being and physical health among women whose first intercourse was forced or coerced. Lindsey Tanner, Los Angeles Times, "About 1 in 16 U.S. women say they were forced or coerced into losing their virginity," 16 Sep. 2019 During Hayat’s trial, his lawyer said the confession had been coerced by investigators who asked leading questions during a daylong interrogation. Demian Bulwa, SFChronicle.com, "Hamid Hayat, freed after 14 years in terror case: ‘I’m can’t believe this day came’," 11 Aug. 2019 An Enfield man faces prison after pleading guilty this week to assaulting, coercing and stealing more than $5,000 from a former girlfriend. David Owens, courant.com, "Enfield man faces prison after pleading guilty to coercing, assaulting former girlfriend," 2 Aug. 2019 The federal government defines domestic terrorism roughly as politically motivated violence designed to coerce or intimidate a civilian population. Eric Tucker, Anchorage Daily News, "Attack highlights challenge of pursuing domestic extremists," 4 Aug. 2019 Now that nudges are an increasingly standard feature of international politics, there’s little to stop politicians from more heavily leaning on behavioral economics to coerce the public. Olivia Goldhill, Quartz, "Politicians love nudge theory. But beware its doppelgänger “sludge”," 31 July 2019 In Virginia, as across the South, newly devised Black Codes regulated postwar social arrangements, and vagrancy laws preserved white power to coerce labor. Drew Gilpin Faust, The Atlantic, "Race, History, and Memories of a Virginia Girlhood," 18 July 2019 After our little tour of recent Trump pronouncements, the only coherence that emerges is opportunity to coerce. Noam Cohen, WIRED, "The Truth About Trump’s Love-Hate Relationship With Big Tech," 18 July 2019 However, in 2012, the neighbor testified that her original statements were coerced. Ryan W. Miller, USA TODAY, "Freed after 25 years for murder: Evidence showed man was 'likely innocent' the whole time," 17 July 2019

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

14 Oct 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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