ex·​tor·​tion | \ ik-ˈstȯr-shən How to pronounce extortion (audio) \

Definition of extortion

1 : the act or practice of extorting especially money or other property especially : the offense committed by an official engaging in such practice
2 : something extorted especially : a gross overcharge

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Other Words from extortion

extortioner \ ik-​ˈstȯr-​sh(ə-​)nər How to pronounce extortion (audio) \ noun
extortionist \ ik-​ˈstȯr-​sh(ə-​)nist How to pronounce extortion (audio) \ noun

Examples of extortion in a Sentence

He was arrested and charged with extortion. six dollars for a cup of coffee is just plain extortion
Recent Examples on the Web Finally, in 2019, organizations faced a new threat called double extortion. Jonathan Fischbein, Forbes, 7 Oct. 2021 Dougherty, 61, who has steered more than $30 million in union funds to political candidates, faces a later extortion trial over other union activities. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 5 Oct. 2021 One Colombo associate is accused of sending threatening texts to a union official over extortion collections. James Freeman, WSJ, 4 Oct. 2021 In an email obtained by The Dallas Morning News, the hackers are threatening to release personal information to the dark web if the district does not pay its extortion demands. Dallas News, 4 Oct. 2021 But Bemer denied knowing King coerced the young men to become unwilling participants in a male prostitution ring by extortion and the withholding of drugs. Edmund H. Mahony, courant.com, 29 Sep. 2021 Correia, 29, was sentenced to six years in federal prison last week on a slate of convictions, including extortion of marijuana companies seeking to open dispensaries in the city and defrauding investors who helped fund his SnoOwl app. BostonGlobe.com, 28 Sep. 2021 With the double extortion model, the potential ramifications reach far and wide. Michael Sentonas, Forbes, 24 Sep. 2021 The Biden administration has determined that ransomware is no longer limited to independent cartels seeking to simply make a profit from extortion. Jennifer Jacobs, Fortune, 21 Sep. 2021

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of extortion was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

10 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Extortion.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/extortion. Accessed 21 Oct. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of extortion

: the crime of getting money from someone by the use of force or threats


ex·​tor·​tion | \ ik-ˈstȯr-shən How to pronounce extortion (audio) \

Legal Definition of extortion

1 : the act or practice of extorting especially money or other property specifically : the act or practice of extorting by a public official acting under color of office
2 : the crime of extorting

Other Words from extortion

extortionate \ -​shə-​nət How to pronounce extortion (audio) \ adjective
extortioner noun
extortionist \ -​shə-​nist How to pronounce extortion (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on extortion

Nglish: Translation of extortion for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of extortion for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about extortion


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