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[koh-urs] /koʊˈɜrs/
verb (used with object), coerced, coercing.
to compel by force, intimidation, or authority, especially without regard for individual desire or volition:
They coerced him into signing the document.
to bring about through the use of force or other forms of compulsion; exact:
to coerce obedience.
to dominate or control, especially by exploiting fear, anxiety, etc.:
The state is based on successfully coercing the individual.
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English < Latin coercēre to hold in, restrain, equivalent to co- co- + -ercēre, combining form of arcēre to keep in, keep away, akin to arca ark
Related forms
coercer, noun
coercible, adjective
noncoercible, adjective
uncoerced, adjective
Can be confused
coerce, compel, constrain, force, oblige (see synonym study at oblige) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for coerced
  • The lawsuit alleged that the university had coerced prisoners into.
  • As a former rebel, he has coerced those who fought alongside him and got rid of those who opposed him.
  • It seems some of her old high school friends had discovered the service, and coerced her into joining.
  • All later denied involvement and said their statements also had been coerced.
  • coerced taxation is indeed necessary to pay for public goods individuals cannot manage to provide voluntarily.
  • Arrests are still made on the flimsiest of evidence, much of it still coerced from illiterate innocents.
  • But companies should probably be coerced into a set of family-friendly policies.
  • Hart maintained throughout his trial that detectives coerced him into making a false confession in the slaying.
  • The defense claimed that investigators coerced him into confessing.
  • Summers is pleading not guilty to the charges, saying that the confession was coerced.
British Dictionary definitions for coerced


(transitive) to compel or restrain by force or authority without regard to individual wishes or desires
Derived Forms
coercer, noun
coercible, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Latin coercēre to confine, restrain, from co- together + arcēre to enclose
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for coerced



mid-15c., cohercen, from Middle French cohercer, from Latin coercere "to control, restrain, shut up together," from com- "together" (see co-) + arcere "to enclose, confine, contain, ward off," from PIE *ark- "to hold, contain, guard" (see arcane). Related: Coerced; coercing. No record of the word between late 15c. and mid-17c.; its reappearance 1650s is perhaps a back-formation from coercion.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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