9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[ik-stawrt] /ɪkˈstɔrt/
verb (used with object)
  1. to wrest or wring (money, information, etc.) from a person by violence, intimidation, or abuse of authority; obtain by force, torture, threat, or the like.
  2. to take illegally by reason of one's office.
to compel (something) of a person or thing:
Her wit and intelligence extorted their admiration.
Origin of extort
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English (adj.) < Latin extortus, past participle of extorquēre, equivalent to ex- ex-1 + torquēre to twist
Related forms
extorter, noun
extortive, adjective
nonextortive, adjective
unextorted, adjective
1. See extract. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for extort
  • It was some time, however, before a smile could be extorted from Jane.
  • He is a man of voracious appetites whose job consists primarily of extorting bribes for his political superiors.
  • They're intimidating us, harassing us and trying to extort us.
  • It is unknown whether the attackers intended to extort payments in return for halting the attacks, he says.
  • The police said that the abduction was not random and that someone had hoped to extort money from the Pratt family.
  • Being unable to repeal the law, the minority party chooses instead to prevent its enforcement until they can extort changes.
  • Both extort large sums of money from mines they control.
  • If operators were allowed to charge for better service, they could extort protection money from every website.
  • They're all lawyers and will eventually find a way to extort money from corporations.
  • Instead, it gives a handful of legislators the power to extort all kinds of pork by holding the state hostage.
British Dictionary definitions for extort


verb (transitive)
to secure (money, favours, etc) by intimidation, violence, or the misuse of influence or authority
to obtain by importunate demands: the children extorted a promise of a trip to the zoo
to overcharge for (something, esp interest on a loan)
Derived Forms
extorter, noun
extortive, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Latin extortus wrenched out, from extorquēre to wrest away, from torquēre to twist, wrench
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 extort

1520s (as a past participle adj. from early 15c.), from Latin extortus, past participle of extorquere (see extortion). Related: Extorted; extorting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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