co·er·cive | \kō-ˈər-siv \

Definition of coercive 

: serving or intended to coerce coercive power coercive measures

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Other Words from coercive

coercively adverb
coerciveness noun

Examples of coercive in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Defense attorneys have said there is no real choice and have denounced the process as coercive. Patrick J. Mcdonnell,, "'What if I lose her forever?' In Guatemala, a couple fears for their child still in detention in U.S.," 10 July 2018 In many areas, Byford thought, N.Y.C. Transit had an old-fashioned, coercive attitude toward its employees, which encouraged deceit and excessive caution. William Finnegan, The New Yorker, "Can Andy Byford Save the Subways?," 2 July 2018 Right now the crown prince acts with the authority of the king and controls the coercive powers of state. The Economist, "Waiting for the backlashCan Muhammad bin Salman’s gamble work?," 21 June 2018 But Dassey's lawyers say interrogators took advantage of his youth and mental limitations, fed him facts and extracted a confession through psychologically coercive tactics. Jessica Gresko,, "Teen in 'Making a Murderer' asks Supreme Court to take his case," 20 June 2018 The legislation calls for a report on China’s military and coercive activities in the South China Sea and authorizes the National Command Authority to take action to disrupt ongoing cyberattacks by Russia. Michael Collins, USA TODAY, "Congress, White House head for showdown over Chinese telecom ZTE after Senate OKs defense bill," 18 June 2018 Under Microsoft's new policy, any software that the company deems to be coercive will be a candidate for removal. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Windows Defender to start removing “optimizer” scareware," 31 Jan. 2018 In 2017, California Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a ban that would have prohibited the use of tobacco products at all state beaches and parks due to fears over the coercive power of government. Max Cohen,, "'It's time to get smoking off the beach.' Proposed N.J. ban awaits approval from Gov. Murphy," 7 June 2018 At no level of government are politicians immune to the temptation of using coercive means to dictate a legislatively unauthorized outcome. C. Boyden Gray, WSJ, "Andrew Cuomo’s Extralegal Coercion," 6 June 2018

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

circa 1600, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for coercive

coerce +_ -ive

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Statistics for coercive

Last Updated

18 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for coercive

The first known use of coercive was circa 1600

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More Definitions for coercive



English Language Learners Definition of coercive

: using force or threats to make someone do something : using coercion


co·er·cive | \kō-ˈər-siv \

Legal Definition of coercive 

1 : serving or intended to coerce

2 : resulting from coercion to protect women from coercive intimacy— Kimberle Crenshaw

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