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

Nelson’s attorneys had argued detectives coerced him into incriminating himself by promising to help, but Circuit Judge Keith White ruled prosecutors could use the police interview as evidence. Monivette Cordeiro, orlandosentinel.com, "Prosecutors play audio tape of Scott Nelson confessing to the slaying of Altamonte Springs woman," 26 June 2019 The boys have said they were coerced by police to do so. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "Trump won’t apologize for Central Park Five ad he ran," 18 June 2019 One face on the poster belongs to Amanda Knox, the U.S. college student studying in Italy who was coerced into confessing to the murder of her roommate. Douglas Starr, Science | AAAS, "This psychologist explains why people confess to crimes they didn’t commit," 13 June 2019 The teens said they were coerced into confessing their involvement in the attack. CBS News, "Central Park Five prosecutor under fire after new Netflix series," 5 June 2019 The complaint also alleges that prosecutors failed to turn over exculpatory evidence and coerced witnesses, including Consuelo’s older sister Cristina, into incriminating Benavides. Alene Tchekmedyian, latimes.com, "Vicente Benavides spent 25 years on death row. Now he’s suing over ‘false evidence’," 26 June 2019 O’Connell ruled last month that the search was illegally extended and that Mayo, of the Ninth Mobile Division, and other officers coerced Ballard into consenting. Andrew Wolfson, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville police traffic search collapses after judge says the driver was coerced," 19 June 2019 Often these tactics revolve around aggressively coercing users into signing up to expensive subscriptions with unclear terms, in the hope that people either won’t notice or will forget to unsubscribe. Jon Porter, The Verge, "Latest iOS beta prompts you to unsubscribe when uninstalling apps with paid subs," 18 June 2019 There was no evidence, just coerced confessions from four of the defendants. San Diego Union-Tribune, "UCSD professor Anthony Davis’ opera ‘The Central Park Five’ goes where Netflix doesn’t dare," 17 June 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

22 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

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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