coerce

Synonym Chooser

How is the word coerce different from other verbs like it?

Some common synonyms of coerce are compel, constrain, force, and oblige. While all these words mean "to make someone or something yield," coerce suggests overcoming resistance or unwillingness by actual or threatened violence or pressure.

coerced into signing over the rights

When would compel be a good substitute for coerce?

The meanings of compel and coerce largely overlap; however, compel typically suggests overcoming of resistance or unwillingness by an irresistible force.

compelled to admit my mistake

When is it sensible to use constrain instead of coerce?

The words constrain and coerce can be used in similar contexts, but constrain suggests the effect of a force or circumstance that limits freedom of action or choice.

constrained by conscience

In what contexts can force take the place of coerce?

While in some cases nearly identical to coerce, force is the general term and implies the overcoming of resistance by the exertion of strength, power, or duress.

forced to flee for their lives

When might oblige be a better fit than coerce?

While the synonyms oblige and coerce are close in meaning, oblige implies the constraint of necessity, law, or duty.

felt obliged to go

Thesaurus Entries Near coerce

Cite this Entry

“Coerce.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/coerce. Accessed 7 Feb. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on coerce

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
Spell It

Hear a word and type it out. How many can you get right?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?

PLAY