ex·​tor·​tion | \ ik-ˈstȯr-shən How to pronounce extortion (audio) \

Definition of extortion

1 : the act or practice of extorting especially money or other property especially : the offense committed by an official engaging in such practice
2 : something extorted especially : a gross overcharge

Other Words from extortion

extortioner \ ik-​ˈstȯr-​sh(ə-​)nər How to pronounce extortion (audio) \ noun
extortionist \ ik-​ˈstȯr-​sh(ə-​)nist How to pronounce extortion (audio) \ noun

Examples of extortion in a Sentence

He was arrested and charged with extortion. six dollars for a cup of coffee is just plain extortion
Recent Examples on the Web The board’s vote comes one day after prosecutors announced that a former top attorney in Feuer’s office, Thomas Peters, agreed to plead guilty to one count of aiding and abetting extortion. Dakota Smith, Los Angeles Times, 11 Jan. 2022 Paul Sems, managing director of remediation services for Trusted SEC, will speak about protecting your small business from ransomware and extortion. Shirley Macfarland, cleveland, 7 Jan. 2022 This plan should outline specific actions and procedures for attack mitigation and remediation, including guidelines for addressing extortion demands. Andrew Hollister, Forbes, 5 Jan. 2022 This piece offers a clear-eyed look at the evolving cyber extortion industry through the eyes of the rare ransomware negotiation specialist. Peter High, Forbes, 3 Jan. 2022 Many suffered data breaches and faced extortion attempts as a result of the vulnerabilities. Lily Hay Newman, Wired, 24 Dec. 2021 Maund, described as a partner in Maund Automotive Group in Austin, allegedly hired three men, whom authorities identified as Gilad Peled, Bryon Brockway and Adam Carey, to help deal with the extortion demands from Lanway. Fox News, 15 Dec. 2021 Peled is a former member of the Israeli Defense Forces and the owner of Speartip Security, which responds to extortion demands. Taylor Pettaway, San Antonio Express-News, 14 Dec. 2021 Maund allegedly enlisted Gilad Peled, Byron Brockway and Adam Carey to assist with the extortion threats. Christina Carrega, CNN, 13 Dec. 2021

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of extortion was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

19 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Extortion.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/extortion. Accessed 28 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for extortion



English Language Learners Definition of extortion

: the crime of getting money from someone by the use of force or threats


ex·​tor·​tion | \ ik-ˈstȯr-shən How to pronounce extortion (audio) \

Legal Definition of extortion

1 : the act or practice of extorting especially money or other property specifically : the act or practice of extorting by a public official acting under color of office
2 : the crime of extorting

Other Words from extortion

extortionate \ -​shə-​nət How to pronounce extortion (audio) \ adjective
extortioner noun
extortionist \ -​shə-​nist How to pronounce extortion (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on extortion

Nglish: Translation of extortion for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of extortion for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about extortion


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