Word of the Day : January 7, 2014

coax

play
verb KOHKS

Definition

1 : to influence or gently urge by caressing or flattering : wheedle

2 : to draw, gain, or persuade by means of gentle urging or flattery

3 : to manipulate with great perseverance and usually with considerable effort toward a desired state or activity

Did You Know?

In the days of yore, if you made a "cokes" of someone, you made a fool of them. "Cokes"-a now-obsolete word for "fool"-is believed to be the source of our verb "coax," which was first used in the 16th century (with the spelling "cokes") to mean "to make a fool of." Soon, the verb also took on the kinder meaning of "to make a pet of." As might be expected, the act of cokesing was sometimes done for personal gain. By the 17th century, the word was being used in today's senses that refer to influencing or persuading people by kind acts or words. By the early 19th century, the spelling "cokes" had fallen out of use, along with the meanings "to make a fool of" and "to make a pet of."


Examples

Stem cells can be cultured to divide and then coaxed to turn into many different cell types.

"He is a little scared of the other cats, but he would love for you to come coax him out from under the kennels and admire his big, beautiful blue eyes." - From an article in Los Alamos Monitor (New Mexico), December 7, 2013



Name That Synonym

What synonym of "coax" rhymes with "Standish"? The answer is …


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