[ doo-res, dyoo-, door-is, dyoor- ]
/ dʊˈrɛs, dyʊ-, ˈdʊər ɪs, ˈdyʊər- /


compulsion by threat or force; coercion; constraint.
Law. such constraint or coercion as will render void a contract or other legal act entered or performed under its influence.
forcible restraint, especially imprisonment.

Nearby words

  1. durazzo,
  2. durban,
  3. durban poison,
  4. durbar,
  5. dure,
  6. duressor,
  7. durex,
  8. durga,
  9. durga puja,
  10. durgah

Origin of duress

1275–1325; Middle English duresse < Middle French duresse, -esce, -ece < Latin dūritia hardness, harshness, oppression, equivalent to dūr(us) hard + -itia -ice

1. intimidation, pressure, bullying, browbeating.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for duress

British Dictionary definitions for duress


/ (djʊˈrɛs, djʊə-) /


compulsion by use of force or threat; constraint; coercion (often in the phrase under duress)
law the illegal exercise of coercion
confinement; imprisonment

Word Origin for duress

C14: from Old French duresse, from Latin dūritia hardness, from dūrus hard

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