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See more synonyms for coax on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object)
  1. to attempt to influence by gentle persuasion, flattery, etc.; cajole: He coaxed her to sing, but she refused.
  2. to obtain by coaxing: We coaxed the secret from him.
  3. to manipulate to a desired end by adroit handling or persistent effort: He coaxed the large chair through the door.
  4. Obsolete.
    1. to fondle.
    2. to fool; deceive.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to use gentle persuasion.
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Origin of coax1

1580–90; v. use of cokes fool (now obsolete), perhaps variant of coxcomb
Related formscoax·er, nouncoax·ing·ly, adverbhalf-coax·ing, adjectivehalf-coax·ing·ly, adverbun·coaxed, adjectiveun·coax·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for coaxed

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • And, if he did find it, maybe Heman could be coaxed into changin' his mind again.

    Cy Whittaker's Place

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • And you'd have begged and coaxed him to stay right along in the bank, maybe?


    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • At first she didn't seem to want to, but then, after I'd coaxed a while, she did.

    Keziah Coffin

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • "Never mind, darling," he coaxed, as the colour leapt to Kate's face.

    The Manxman

    Hall Caine

  • Mildred coaxed her father to accompany her to hear the violinist.

    The Fifth String  

    John Philip Sousa

British Dictionary definitions for coaxed


  1. to seek to manipulate or persuade (someone) by tenderness, flattery, pleading, etc
  2. (tr) to obtain by persistent coaxing
  3. (tr) to work on or tend (something) carefully and patiently so as to make it function as one desireshe coaxed the engine into starting
  4. (tr) obsolete to caress
  5. (tr) obsolete to deceive
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Derived Formscoaxer, nouncoaxingly, adverb

Word Origin

C16: verb formed from obsolete noun cokes fool, of unknown origin


  1. short for coaxial cable
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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

Word Origin and History for coaxed



1580s, originally in slang phrase to make a coax of, from earlier noun coax, cox, cokes "a fool, ninny, simpleton" (1560s); modern spelling is 1706. Origin obscure, perhaps related to cock (n.1). Related: Coaxed; coaxing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper