1 : forcible restraint or restriction
2 : compulsion by threat; specifically : unlawful constraint
Did You Know?
"Duress" is a word of hardy stock. It has been a part of the English language since the 14th century, and has a number of long-lived relatives. "Duress" itself came into Middle English through the Anglo-French "duresce" (meaning "hardness" or "severity"), which stems from Latin "durus," meaning "hard." Some obvious relatives of this robust root are "durable," "endure" and "obdurate" (meaning "unyielding" or "hardened in feelings"). Some others are "dour" (meaning "harsh," "unyielding," or "gloomy") and "during."
The defense asserts that the defendant's confession was made under duress.
"Nondisclosure provisions that stretch beyond a straightforward embargo on business-oriented 'trade secrets' represent the worst kind of corporate limitations on individual freedom-no one should be contractually stopped from talking about their personal experiences with any company. You did, however, sign this contract (possibly under mild duress, but not against your will)." - From an article by Chuck Klosterman in the New York Times, June 30, 2013
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