[ koh-urs ]
See synonyms for: coercecoercedcoercescoercer on

verb (used with object),co·erced, co·erc·ing.
  1. to compel by force, intimidation, or authority, especially without regard for individual desire or volition: They coerced him into signing the document.

  2. to bring about through the use of force or other forms of compulsion; exact: to coerce obedience.

  1. to dominate or control, especially by exploiting fear, anxiety, etc.: The state is based on successfully coercing the individual.

Origin of coerce

First recorded in 1425–75; late Middle English, from Latin coercēre “to hold in, restrain,” equivalent to co- co- + -ercēre, combining form of arcēre “to keep in, keep away,” akin to arca ark

Other words from coerce

  • co·erc·er, noun
  • co·er·ci·ble, adjective
  • non·co·er·ci·ble, adjective

Words that may be confused with coerce

Words Nearby coerce Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use coerce in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for coerce


/ (kəʊˈɜːs) /

  1. (tr) to compel or restrain by force or authority without regard to individual wishes or desires

Origin of coerce

C17: from Latin coercēre to confine, restrain, from co- together + arcēre to enclose

Derived forms of coerce

  • coercer, noun
  • coercible, adjective

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