verb (used with object)

  1. to wrest or wring (money, information, etc.) from a person by violence, intimidation, or abuse of authority; obtain by force, torture, threat, or the like.
  2. to take illegally by reason of one's office.
to compel (something) of a person or thing: Her wit and intelligence extorted their admiration.

Origin of extort

1375–1425; late Middle English (adj.) < Latin extortus, past participle of extorquēre, equivalent to ex- ex-1 + torquēre to twist
Related formsex·tort·er, nounex·tor·tive, adjectivenon·ex·tor·tive, adjectiveun·ex·tort·ed, adjective

Synonyms for extort

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

Examples from the Web for extort

Contemporary Examples of extort

Historical Examples of extort

  • She was trying to extort a promise that she should appear in its pages, which, as we all remember, she did.


    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • I have since thought we were ironed merely to extort this arrangement from us.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • What would she do with a secret she had taken such hazards to extort?

    The Cavalier

    George Washington Cable

  • This woman is some impudent impostor, who wants to extort money out of me.

    Henry Dunbar

    M. E. Braddon

  • Then, after a time, when wanting to extort again, he went on to another place.

    Aino Folk-Tales

    Basil Hall Chamberlain

British Dictionary definitions for extort


verb (tr)

to secure (money, favours, etc) by intimidation, violence, or the misuse of influence or authority
to obtain by importunate demandsthe children extorted a promise of a trip to the zoo
to overcharge for (something, esp interest on a loan)
Derived Formsextorter, nounextortive, adjective

Word Origin for extort

C16: from Latin extortus wrenched out, from extorquēre to wrest away, from torquēre to twist, wrench
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 extort

1520s (as a past participle adj. from early 15c.), from Latin extortus, past participle of extorquere (see extortion). Related: Extorted; extorting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper