[doo-res, dyoo-, door-is, dyoor-]
compulsion by threat or force; coercion; constraint.
Law. such constraint or coercion as will render void a contract or other legal act entered or performed under its influence.
forcible restraint, especially imprisonment.

1275–1325; Middle English duresse < Middle French duresse, -esce, -ece < Latin dūritia hardness, harshness, oppression, equivalent to dūr(us) hard + -itia -ice

1. intimidation, pressure, bullying, browbeating.
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World English Dictionary
duress (djʊˈrɛs, djʊə-)
1.  compulsion by use of force or threat; constraint; coercion (often in the phrase under duress)
2.  law the illegal exercise of coercion
3.  confinement; imprisonment
[C14: from Old French duresse, from Latin dūritia hardness, from dūrus hard]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

c.1320, "harsh or severe treatment," from O.Fr. duresse, from L. duritia "hardness," from durus "hard" (see endure). Sense of "forcible restraint" is from c.1430; that of "coercion" is from 1596.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Cats often purr while under duress, such as during a visit to the veterinarian
  or when recovering from injury.
There had been no indication that the state's attorney had obtained their
  statements under duress.
He later recanted that statement, saying it was obtained under duress.
Now he said he is forced under duress.
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