verb (used with object), co·erced, co·erc·ing.

to compel by force, intimidation, or authority, especially without regard for individual desire or volition: They coerced him into signing the document.
to bring about through the use of force or other forms of compulsion; exact: to coerce obedience.
to dominate or control, especially by exploiting fear, anxiety, etc.: The state is based on successfully coercing the individual.

Origin of coerce

1425–75; late Middle English < Latin coercēre to hold in, restrain, equivalent to co- co- + -ercēre, combining form of arcēre to keep in, keep away, akin to arca ark
Related formsco·erc·er, nounco·er·ci·ble, adjectivenon·co·er·ci·ble, adjectiveun·co·erced, adjective
Can be confusedcoerce compel constrain force oblige Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for coerced

Contemporary Examples of coerced

Historical Examples of coerced

  • Something in him at once coerced her friendliest confidence.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • No one is coerced to labour, but in proportion as a man does labour he makes use of capital.


    Theodor Hertzka

  • And this activity is spontaneous, in the sense that it is not coerced from without.

    Mind and Motion and Monism

    George John Romanes

  • I have no doubt that the coerced perusal of them to which he had to submit did him a deal of good.

    The Book-Hunter

    John Hill Burton

  • If she could be so coerced we would destroy her brain before she could act.

    Masters of Space

    Edward Elmer Smith

British Dictionary definitions for coerced



(tr) to compel or restrain by force or authority without regard to individual wishes or desires
Derived Formscoercer, nouncoercible, adjective

Word Origin for coerce

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



mid-15c., cohercen, from Middle French cohercer, from Latin coercere "to control, restrain, shut up together," from com- "together" (see co-) + arcere "to enclose, confine, contain, ward off," from PIE *ark- "to hold, contain, guard" (see arcane). Related: Coerced; coercing. No record of the word between late 15c. and mid-17c.; its reappearance 1650s is perhaps a back-formation from coercion.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper