Definition of coerce in English:



[with object]
  • 1Persuade (an unwilling person) to do something by using force or threats.

    ‘he was coerced into giving evidence’
    • ‘Despite repeated warnings from the police and the relatives about not letting strangers in she was just coerced into it.’
    • ‘Mischa pressed the dagger enough to coerce him to let go of her.’
    • ‘Tickets are priced at a very modest £6 and parents are not coerced into buying flashing neon light thingies at the interval.’
    • ‘For one thing, films basically force you to identify with characters; novels can't coerce you in the same way.’
    • ‘His client still insists that she was coerced into committing the blackmail offences by her co-defendant.’
    • ‘Have you been coerced into giving this confession by any government agency or official?’
    • ‘I was never coerced or forced into doing anything I didn't like.’
    • ‘I know, I know, I can't coerce anyone into liking cats, but all I ask is that you please have an open mind about the species.’
    • ‘Once she is coerced into signing adoption papers, she's bundled out of the way and into the convent to save her parents further humiliation.’
    • ‘She's being held in civil contempt, because they want to coerce her into talking.’
    • ‘Then there are concerns that, as part of the company's strategy, it coerces you into revealing your personal details.’
    • ‘Yet the government, having arbitrarily detained him for two years, is coercing him into giving up his citizenship by the threat of further arbitrary detention.’
    • ‘Constitutionally, the Treasury cannot coerce us into any action.’
    • ‘The implicit rule seems to be that when chiefs speak, you must make yourself listen to them; they do not need to persuade or coerce you to listen.’
    • ‘The girls were coerced into silence by the culprit about what they had experienced.’
    • ‘Claims that hundreds of voters were coerced into handing over incomplete postal votes to party activists were made in the days running up to election day.’
    • ‘Prosecutors say the family was coerced into making the video.’
    • ‘No one else in any way threatened or coerced Jones, offered Jones a bribe, or even suggested that he shoot Smith.’
    • ‘I can indeed blame you for coercing me into marrying you.’
    • ‘Most of these groups employed threats to coerce people into making transactions or to derive benefit.’
    pressure, pressurize, bring pressure to bear on, use pressure on, put pressure on, constrain, lean on, press, push
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    1. 1.1 Obtain (something) from someone by using force or threats.
      ‘their confessions were allegedly coerced by torture’
      • ‘The court on Friday upheld the decision, saying the policy of reciting the pledge coerces a religious act because of use of certain words.’
      • ‘She linked it back to the government's ability to coerce statements out of key intelligence officials for their own political ends.’
      • ‘What industries will step forward next and try to coerce consumerism when they can't win it fairly in the so-called free market?’
      • ‘All kinds of groups use fear to terrorize the loners and coerce fealty from those who don't want to be a target.’
      • ‘The following is a letter from a woman who police attempted to coerce false testimony from.’
      • ‘The alleged intention was to coerce privatisation of the national oil company into the hands of the foreign investor group.’
      • ‘The justice's dissent reasoned that the clause only forbade government from establishing an official church and coercing religious beliefs.’
      • ‘By participating in a violent anti-war demonstration, he was in no sense aiming at coercing conformity with his view - for that would still have been a political objective.’
      • ‘It could try to coerce conformity or it could become tolerant.’
      • ‘Those detained face beatings and other forms of torture, aimed at coercing confessions or information about rebel forces.’
      • ‘It is a victory for the MP, who has been urging the government to bring in new laws making it a crime to aid and abet or coerce a forced marriage.’
      • ‘The factors coercing this activity could be addictions, pimps, debt & poverty.’
      • ‘The movie is full of wit and stuff that would coerce a chuckle out of anyone, from teenagers to adults.’
      • ‘A strong family member, for example, might coerce the votes of weaker members of the family.’
      • ‘Rather than coercing behavior via laws, communitarians advocate persuading fellow citizens through shame and appeals to community norms.’
      • ‘So I guess I can rule out the possibility of coercing a drunken confession about how much you love me?’
      • ‘Saturday night's boy has been texting me; he must have coerced my number out of my housemate.’
      wrest, exact, wring, screw, squeeze, milk, force, obtain by force, obtain by threat, obtain by threats, extort, blackmail someone for, worm something out of someone
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Late Middle English: from Latin coercere ‘restrain’, from co- ‘together’ + arcere ‘restrain’.