Definition of duress
1 : forcible restraint or restriction while the German army was still held in duress by the Versailles treaty — S. L. A. Marshall
2 : compulsion (see compulsion 1a) by threat gave the statement under duress; specifically : unlawful constraint held under duress
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Examples of duress in a Sentence
He gave the information under duress.
complied with the order only under duress
Recent Examples of duress from the Web
The staff at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital is under constant duress.
In opening statements Monday, attorney Katie Hagan said trial jurors must determine if Brandon Banks was acting under duress.
The quarterbacks weren’t under as much duress from Miami’s pass rush, and as a result the offense scored three touchdowns during team portions of practice.
But the offense will be under duress if the defense cannot keep opponents off the scoreboard.
Defense lawyers had emphasized that, under the law, Khweis could not be convicted of providing support to terrorists if he were being coerced or acting under duress.
Suganob apparently spoke under duress in the video, which recently appeared online.
Brown is now claiming fraudulent transfers and seeking rescission because of duress, menace, and undue influence.
Antsy Georgia Republicans gather in Augusta on Friday to kick off their annual meeting under a new strain of electoral duress.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'duress'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
When Should You Use duress?
Duress is a word of hardy stock. It has been a part of the English language since the 14th century, and has a number of long-lived relatives. "Duress" itself came into Middle English through the Anglo-French duresce (meaning "hardness" or "severity"), which stems from Latin durus, meaning "hard." Some obvious relatives of this robust root are "durable," "endure" and "obdurate" (meaning "unyielding" or "hardened in feelings"). Some others are "dour" (meaning "harsh," "unyielding," or "gloomy") and "during."
DURESS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of duress for English Language Learners
: force or threats meant to make someone do something
Legal Definition of duress
Additional Notes on duress
A person may be able to avoid the consequences of his or her acts under the law if they were performed while under duress. For example, a contract made under duress is voidable by the coerced party. Similarly, a will signed under duress is invalid. Duress may also be used to justify a criminal act.
Origin and Etymology of duress
Anglo-French duresce, literally, hardness, harshness, from Old French, from Latin duritia, from durus hard
Seen and Heard
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