coax

verb
\ ˈkōks How to pronounce coax (audio) \
coaxed; coaxing; coaxes

Definition of coax

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to influence or gently urge by caressing or flattering : wheedle coaxed him into going
2 : to draw, gain, or persuade by means of gentle urging or flattery unable to coax an answer out of him coaxing consumers to buy new cars
3 : to manipulate with great perseverance and usually with considerable effort toward a desired state or activity coax a fire to burn is optimistic that stem cells can be coaxed into growing into replacement tissue for failing organs
4 obsolete : fondle, pet

coax

noun
co·​ax | \ ˈkō-ˌaks How to pronounce coax (audio) \

Definition of coax (Entry 2 of 2)

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Choose the Right Synonym for coax

Verb

cajole, coax, soft-soap, blandish, wheedle mean to influence or persuade by pleasing words or actions. cajole suggests the deliberate use of flattery to persuade in the face of reluctance or reasonable objections. cajoled him into cheating on the final exam coax implies gentle and persistent words or actions employed to produce a desired effect. coaxed the cat out of the tree soft-soap refers to using smooth and somewhat insincere talk usually for personal gain. politicians soft-soaping eligible voters blandish implies a more open desire to win a person over by effusive praise and affectionate actions. legislators blandished with promises of support wheedle suggests more strongly than cajole the use of seductive appeal or artful words in persuading. hucksters wheedling her life's savings out of her

Did you know?

Verb

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 of coax in a Sentence

Verb It took almost an hour to coax the cat down from the tree. She tried to coax a raise from her boss. He was unable to coax an answer out of her. He coaxed the fire to burn by blowing on it. The plant is difficult to coax into bloom.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb These teams walk the streets daily, tending basic needs, such as food, clothing, and medicine, all while attempting to coax those who might be ready for recovery to get off the streets. BostonGlobe.com, 17 Oct. 2021 Hiring slowed again in September as a surge in COVID 19 cases offset the reopening of most schools and expiration of unemployment benefits, developments that were expected to coax some Americans back to work. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, 8 Oct. 2021 An effort to coax more production out of the receivers and tight ends began on Michigan’s first play from scrimmage, when nearly everyone in the stadium expected the Wolverines to hand the ball to running back Hassan Haskins. Michael Cohen, Detroit Free Press, 18 Sep. 2021 Just like some parents, the researchers used a sweet treat to coax the cows to push through a gate and urinate in a special pen. Seth Borenstein, Anchorage Daily News, 13 Sep. 2021 Yet during lockdown, Haywood, a program supervisor at Community & Youth Outreach, had to coax one of the city’s hardest-to-reach populations to log in from cell phones. Rachel Swan, San Francisco Chronicle, 7 Sep. 2021 President Biden is trying to coax and incentivize more Americans to get the jab. CBS News, 30 July 2021 Perhaps the shakeup will coax a better performance out of Auburn’s pass-catchers. Christopher Smith, al, 28 Sep. 2021 The former chef in Washington remembers how his grandfather would coax him, a young boy in Mexico, to haul a heavy sack of corn as a lesson in persistence. Erika Page, The Christian Science Monitor, 14 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This means existing household coax installations, which generally make use of only a single cable running to each connected room, won't be of much use. John Herrman, Popular Mechanics, 1 Apr. 2021 The goal of cloud seeding is to increase the number of particles in the storm and coax snow to fall in the mountains. Zak Podmore, The Salt Lake Tribune, 28 Mar. 2021 His job is to relay information to the public, not threaten doom, or coax or trick us into doing things. David Harsanyi, National Review, 22 Feb. 2021 Start with your internet modem, the device that most likely has a coax cable connecting it to your wall. Frank Bajak, USA TODAY, 20 Mar. 2020 The Internet service provider terminated their coax in a small closet off the entry hall. Jim Salter, Ars Technica, 8 Jan. 2020 Connect the coax that will enter the house to the bottom. Connect a 10-gauge or thicker copper wire to the bottom of the grounding block. Ron Hurtibise, sun-sentinel.com, 2 Aug. 2019 From the outdoor Yagi, a leg of coax cabling needs to be routed indoors and fed to the signal booster, which then has an output port which connects to an indoor panel antenna via another coax run. Jim Salter, Ars Technica, 1 Aug. 2019 Use the least amount of coax cable to reach from your antenna or splitter to each TV. Jim Rossman, Dallas News, 20 June 2019

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

Verb

1581, in the meaning defined at sense 4

Noun

1945, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for coax

Verb

earlier cokes, from cokes simpleton

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Dictionary Entries Near coax

coauthor

coax

coaxal

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Last Updated

21 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Coax.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/coax. Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for coax

coax

verb

English Language Learners Definition of coax

: to influence or persuade (a person or animal) to do something by talking in a gentle and friendly way
: to get (something) by talking in a gentle and friendly way
: to cause (something) to do something by making a careful and continual effort

coax

verb
\ ˈkōks How to pronounce coax (audio) \
coaxed; coaxing

Kids Definition of coax

1 : to influence by gentle urging, special attention, or flattering She coaxed her kitty out of the tree.
2 : to get or win by means of gentle urging or flattery He coaxed a raise from the boss.

More from Merriam-Webster on coax

Nglish: Translation of coax for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of coax for Arabic Speakers

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