[ 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.

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