Definition of extort in US English:



  • Obtain (something) by force, threats, or other unfair means.

    ‘he was convicted of trying to extort $1 million from a developer’
    • ‘The police often use torture or the threat of torture to extort money.’
    • ‘Sometimes we are talking about criminals when they are extorting money out of children on the way home with threats and violence and that should be dealt with as a criminal act.’
    • ‘Their threats extort facilities and subsidies from the regimes that increase their strength and influence.’
    • ‘The administration proceeded to extort large sums of money, ostensibly to repay this cost, and the states ended up following suit.’
    • ‘In the past, they had to hire consultants who extorted a lot of money from them.’
    • ‘This morning the proprietors instructed a senior Bulawayo lawyer to respond to the police's attempt to extort money in this way.’
    • ‘The two were eventually netted by the FBI, but the attempt to extort money from her was hard on her and her children.’
    • ‘Instead the District Attorney's Office and the newspapers focused on allegations that Scalise had extorted vast sums of money from New York's employers.’
    • ‘They came out beating their chests and proclaiming that no matter how much it cost them they were not going to succumb to Bailey's attempt at extorting money from them by the threat of a libel action.’
    • ‘All the unions did was form cartels and use the threat of violence to keep competitors at bay and extort some wealth from the capitalists.’
    • ‘This would bring an end to his many attempts to extort money from organisations on the flimsiest of pretexts.’
    • ‘For most, imprisonment at home would equate to unspeakable living conditions, physical torture, and false confessions extorted by threats.’
    • ‘There are many registered cases of police using the threat of arrest to extort a lot of money from the husband's family.’
    • ‘Militants assaulted business managers and extorted money they claimed was compensation for unfair dismissals.’
    • ‘At checkpoints throughout the province, the security forces openly extort bribes.’
    • ‘You could even stop extorting millions of dollars out of municipalities or forcing them to build new stadiums.’
    • ‘It might be for the money, for the experience, or maybe they were extorted into doing it.’
    • ‘I discovered she had been extorting vast sums of money from at least two of her very rich - and, in one case, very senile - residents.’
    • ‘Federal forces routinely extort money from detainees' relatives as a condition for release.’
    • ‘Many corrupt immigration officials extorted vast quantities of money from terrified refugees.’
    force, obtain by force, obtain by threat, obtain by threats, blackmail someone for, extract, exact, coerce, wring, wrest, screw, squeeze, milk, worm something out of someone
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Early 16th century: from Latin extort- ‘wrested’, from the verb extorquere, from ex- ‘out’ + torquere ‘to twist’.