extort

verb ex·tort \ ik-ˈstȯrt \
Updated on: 19 Nov 2017

Definition of extort

transitive verb
: to obtain from a person by force, intimidation, or undue or illegal power : wring; also : to gain especially by ingenuity or compelling argument

extorter

noun

extortive

play \ik-ˈstȯr-tiv\ adjective

Examples of extort in a Sentence

  1. The criminals extorted large sums of money from their victims.

  2. He was arrested for extorting bribes.

Recent Examples of extort from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'extort.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

To extort is literally to wrench something out of someone. Extortion is a mainstay of organized crime. Just as the school bully extorts lunch money from the smaller kids in exchange for not beating them up, thugs extort "protection" money from business owners with threats of violence. But that's only one kind of extortion; a mobster might extort favors from a politician with threats of revealing some dark secret, just as you might extort a favor from a brother or sister by promising not to tell on them.

Origin and Etymology of extort

Latin extortus, past participle of extorquēre to wrench out, extort, from ex- + torquēre to twist — more at 1torture

extort Synonyms

Synonym Discussion of extort

educe, evoke, elicit, extract, extort mean to draw out something hidden, latent, or reserved. educe implies the bringing out of something potential or latent.
    • educed order out of chaos
evoke implies a strong stimulus that arouses an emotion or an interest or recalls an image or memory.
    • a song that evokes warm memories
elicit usually implies some effort or skill in drawing forth a response.
    • careful questioning elicited the truth
extract implies the use of force or pressure in obtaining answers or information.
    • extracted a confession from him
extort suggests a wringing or wresting from one who resists strongly.
    • extorted their cooperation by threatening to inform

EXTORT Defined for English Language Learners

extort

verb

Definition of extort for English Language Learners

  • : to get (something, such as money) from a person by the use of force or threats


Law Dictionary

extort

transitive verb ex·tort \ ik-ˈstȯrt \

legal Definition of extort

: to obtain (as money) from a person by force, intimidation, or undue or unlawful use of authority or power

extorter

noun

extortive

play \-ˈstȯr-tiv\ adjective

Origin and Etymology of extort

Latin extortus, past participle of extorquere to remove by twisting, obtain by force, from ex- out + torquere to twist



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