Definition of coerce in English:



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

    ‘they were coerced into silence’
    • ‘She's being held in civil contempt, because they want to coerce her into talking.’
    • ‘Tickets are priced at a very modest £6 and parents are not coerced into buying flashing neon light thingies at the interval.’
    • ‘His client still insists that she was coerced into committing the blackmail offences by her co-defendant.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The girls were coerced into silence by the culprit about what they had experienced.’
    • ‘Despite repeated warnings from the police and the relatives about not letting strangers in she was just coerced into it.’
    • ‘Then there are concerns that, as part of the company's strategy, it coerces you into revealing your personal details.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I was never coerced or forced into doing anything I didn't like.’
    • ‘For one thing, films basically force you to identify with characters; novels can't coerce you in the same way.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Have you been coerced into giving this confession by any government agency or official?’
    • ‘No one else in any way threatened or coerced Jones, offered Jones a bribe, or even suggested that he shoot Smith.’
    • ‘Prosecutors say the family was coerced into making the video.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Mischa pressed the dagger enough to coerce him to let go of her.’
    pressure, pressurize, bring pressure to bear on, use pressure on, put pressure on, constrain, lean on, press, push
    force, compel, oblige, put under an obligation, browbeat, brainwash, bludgeon, bully, threaten, prevail on, work on, act on, influence, intimidate, dragoon, twist someone's arm, strong-arm
    bulldoze, railroad, squeeze, put the screws on, put the squeeze on
    hustle, fast-talk
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    1. 1.1 Obtain (something) by using force or threats.
      ‘their confessions were allegedly coerced by torture’
      • ‘A strong family member, for example, might coerce the votes of weaker members of the family.’
      • ‘All kinds of groups use fear to terrorize the loners and coerce fealty from those who don't want to be a target.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The factors coercing this activity could be addictions, pimps, debt & poverty.’
      • ‘The justice's dissent reasoned that the clause only forbade government from establishing an official church and coercing religious beliefs.’
      • ‘What industries will step forward next and try to coerce consumerism when they can't win it fairly in the so-called free market?’
      • ‘The following is a letter from a woman who police attempted to coerce false testimony from.’
      • ‘Saturday night's boy has been texting me; he must have coerced my number out of my housemate.’
      • ‘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 movie is full of wit and stuff that would coerce a chuckle out of anyone, from teenagers to adults.’
      • ‘The court on Friday upheld the decision, saying the policy of reciting the pledge coerces a religious act because of use of certain words.’
      • ‘Rather than coercing behavior via laws, communitarians advocate persuading fellow citizens through shame and appeals to community norms.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The alleged intention was to coerce privatisation of the national oil company into the hands of the foreign investor group.’
      • ‘So I guess I can rule out the possibility of coercing a drunken confession about how much you love me?’
      • ‘She linked it back to the government's ability to coerce statements out of key intelligence officials for their own political ends.’
      wrest, exact, wring, screw, squeeze, milk, force, obtain by force, extort, blackmail someone for, worm something out of someone
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Late Middle English: from Latin coercere restrain from co- jointly, together + arcere restrain.