Word of the Day : May 24, 2018

cajole

play
verb kuh-JOHL

Definition

1 a : to persuade with flattery or gentle urging especially in the face of reluctance : coax

b : to obtain from someone by gentle persuasion

2 : to deceive with soothing words or false promises

Did You Know?

Cajole comes from a French verb, cajoler, which has the same meaning as the English word. You might not think to associate cajole with cage, but some etymologists theorize that cajoler is connected to not one but two words for "cage." One of them is the Anglo-French word cage, from which we borrowed our own cage. It comes from Latin cavea, meaning "cage." The other is the Anglo-French word for "birdcage," which is gaiole. It's an ancestor of our word jail, and it derives from Late Latin caveola, which means "little cage." Anglo-French speakers had a related verb, gaioler, which meant "to chatter like a jay in a cage." It's possible that cajoler is a combination of gaioler and cage.


Examples

"Wertheim and the 60 Minutes crew were only permitted into the building's circular library, despite an attempt to cajole former Lampoon president Alice Ju to grant them further access." — Brit McCandless Farmer, CBSNews.com, 8 Apr. 2018

"Designers call the ways marketers and developers cajole and mislead us into giving up our data 'dark patterns,' tactics that exploit flaws and limits in our cognition." — Christopher Mims, The Wall Street Journal, 22 Apr. 2018



Name That Synonym

Unscramble the letters to create a synonym of cajole: NILHBASD.

VIEW THE ANSWER

Podcast


More Words of the Day

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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