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.
verb (used without object)
  1. to use gentle persuasion.

Origin of coax

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for coaxingly

Historical Examples of coaxingly

  • Paris on short notice will be cosily and coaxingly intimate.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • "Come now," she said coaxingly, as she laid them on the table, with the water smoking off the shells.

    The Manxman

    Hall Caine

  • "You must let me remove these things, and get you into bed at once," she said coaxingly but firmly.

    Pretty Madcap Dorothy

    Laura Jean Libbey

  • "Come on, Fluff," she said coaxingly, grasping the plume-like mane.

  • "You don't want to go down there again to-day," said Rufus coaxingly.

    In Apple-Blossom Time

    Clara Louise Burnham

British Dictionary definitions for coaxingly


  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
Derived Formscoaxer, nouncoaxingly, adverb

Word Origin for coax

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


  1. short for coaxial cable
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 coaxingly



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper