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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


[koh-aks, koh-aks]
noun Electricity.
  1. coaxial cable.
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Origin of coax2

First recorded in 1945–50; by shortening
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for coaxes

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • And theres a boy lives in our street that coaxes me to have a game with him once in a while.

    Letty and the Twins

    Helen Sherman Griffith

  • When I get hold of you again, I'll see that no one coaxes you away.

    Helen Grant's Schooldays

    Amanda M. Douglas

  • He bows to her, and coaxes her until he gets between her and the water so that she cannot escape him.

  • It coaxes gold to the mint, keeps it there, and does away permanently with bond issues.

    The Arena


  • She coaxes me to rush after her, so as to wean me away from her brood.

British Dictionary definitions for coaxes


  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 coaxes



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