co·​er·​cive | \ kō-ˈər-siv How to pronounce coercive (audio) \

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

Those blockbuster grand gestures — proposing on a Jumbotron, or during a girlfriend’s marathon, as one guy did recently — are now often seen as coercive or spotlight-stealing. Lisa Bonos, Washington Post, "Welcome to Rom Com Fest, a haven for fans who never stopped believing in happily ever after," 2 July 2019 Facebook is not the problem, although their duplicitous and coercive ploy to collect massive amounts of personal information should have been condemned from the get-go. Dp Opinion, The Denver Post, "Letters: Not a Facebook fan; Dodging scooters on sidewalks; Remove the labels; We pay Conway’s salary (7/1/19)," 1 July 2019 Ironically, Paris experienced an uprising over the government’s coercive climate policy. WSJ, "Good Incentives Are the Key to Climate Issues," 6 Dec. 2018 Apparently unaware of, or unconcerned with, the advantages offered by the canny use of public diplomacy, coercive tactics have become a main feature of his Presidency. Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker, "Mexico, Cuba, and Trump’s Increasing Preference for Punishment Over Diplomacy," 11 June 2019 When the state employs coercive power to compel an utterance, what might otherwise be a courtesy quickly becomes a plank walk. Abigail Shrier, WSJ, "The Transgender Language War," 29 Aug. 2018 So does a rugged individualism that resists being told what to do, compounded by wariness toward authorities among local immigrants from former Soviet republics, where immunization campaigns were conducted by a coercive state. Nina Shapiro, The Seattle Times, "Fear, resentment — and more demand for vaccines as one Washington county grapples with measles outbreak," 1 Apr. 2019 Workers would look for opportunities to discuss treatment, and advocates argue the caring-but-not-coercive approach helps people make changes. Washington Post, "‘It keeps us safe’: An NYC bathroom set up to stem overdoses," 13 July 2018 Sites that fail to comply with the new law will face fines and other coercive measures. James Vincent, The Verge, "UK porn law’s latest guidelines fail to answer critics," 18 Oct. 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

10 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

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


co·​er·​cive | \ kō-ˈər-siv How to pronounce coercive (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on coercive

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with coercive

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for coercive

Spanish Central: Translation of coercive

Nglish: Translation of coercive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of coercive for Arabic Speakers

Comments on coercive

What made you want to look up coercive? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something desired as essential

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