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[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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He was in a perfect storm of passion, and threatened every one of the servants with severe punishment, to extort confession.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • I have since thought we were ironed merely to extort this arrangement from us.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • How Philo managed to extort this out of the Pentateuch is a question of interest, but one on which I cannot delay.

  • What would she do with a secret she had taken such hazards to extort?

    The Cavalier George Washington Cable
  • Moreover, it does not appear that, though poor, she ever took advantage of it to extort money.

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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