- 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.
Origin of duress
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for duress
In moments of duress, a different self manifests with acts of destruction: unleashed id in Freudian, or Incredible Hulk, terms.A Different Kind of Vietnam Story
October 9, 2014
Under “fear, threats, and duress,” Egan says he signed the form, “a false declaration denying any childhood sexual abuse” by Doe.New Hollywood Sex Scandal: Bryan Singer’s Accuser Files Another Suit
June 10, 2014
But the sense of duress surrounding the regime this time around seems especially pronounced.Syria’s Prime Minister Defects to Rebels
August 6, 2012
He was a mechanic, brought along under some duress to service the machine.Pagan Passions
Gordon Randall Garrett
He considered himself as, in fact, in duress, and his actions as not free.William the Conqueror
Was she in duress either from this Ironhook or from her father, or from both?Hereward, The Last of the English
The commission, extorted by force, is null and void when the duress is removed.Hansford: A Tale of Bacon's Rebellion
St. George Tucker
When the consent of either party was obtained by force, duress or fraud.Marriage and Divorce Laws of the World
- compulsion by use of force or threat; constraint; coercion (often in the phrase under duress)
- law the illegal exercise of coercion
- confinement; imprisonment
Word Origin and History for duress
early 14c., "harsh or severe treatment," from Old French duresse, from Latin duritia "hardness," from durus "hard" (see endure). The Old French suffix -esse is from Latin -itia, added to adjectives to form nouns of quality (cf. riches, largesse). Sense of "coercion, compulsion" is from 1590s.