co·​er·​cive kō-ˈər-siv How to pronounce coercive (audio)
: serving or intended to coerce
coercive power
coercive measures
coercively adverb
coerciveness noun

Examples of coercive in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web These and other cases brought by the group were pre-enforcement challenges, arguing anti-discrimination laws have a coercive effect on businesses that involve expressive, creative work. Justin Jouvenal, Washington Post, 8 Nov. 2023 Their proposal would prohibit creditors from factoring medical debt into credit applications and prevent debt collectors from using coercive collection practices. Deb Gordon, Forbes, 13 Nov. 2023 In more than 50 interviews, current and former technology executives and Indian officials detailed how the government broke Twitter’s resistance through a raft of new regulations, a streamlined censorship process — and the coercive muscle of law enforcement agencies. Joseph Menn, Washington Post, 9 Nov. 2023 But a coercive environment rather than forcible transfer is more beneficial for the Israeli state. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, 1 Nov. 2023 The surge in such coercive maneuvers is all the more concerning, Pentagon officials say, as Beijing has repeatedly rebuffed U.S. attempts to restart military-to-military channels of communication designed to prevent such encounters. Ellen Nakashima, Washington Post, 26 Oct. 2023 Conversely, disability rights advocates argued CARE Court is not only coercive, thrusting care upon people who didn’t ask for help, but widens a doorway that could lead to people being detained against their will. Lyndsay Winkley, San Diego Union-Tribune, 15 Oct. 2023 The drug companies say these rules are coercive, trample on their rights to free speech, and are unconstitutional and bad in other ways. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 11 Oct. 2023 The United States could have a full spectrum of coercive nuclear options without targeting the adversary’s nuclear forces or command-and-control systems. Charles L. Glaser, Foreign Affairs, 5 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'coercive.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


coerce + -ive

First Known Use

circa 1600, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of coercive was circa 1600

Dictionary Entries Near coercive

Cite this Entry

“Coercive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

Legal Definition


co·​er·​cive kō-ˈər-siv How to pronounce coercive (audio)
: serving or intended to coerce
: resulting from coercion
to protect women from coercive intimacyKimberle Crenshaw
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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