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 extorted

Contemporary Examples of extorted

Historical Examples of extorted

  • At the rehearsals not a word could be extorted from the Angel Raphael.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • I extorted and oppressed as long as I was able; while ye have power, get what you can.

  • A cargo of produce for the schooner perhaps could be extorted—and, who knows?

    Lord Jim

    Joseph Conrad

  • It was rather admiration she extorted by her competent serenity.

  • Mrs. Travers extorted from d'Alcacer a fresh tribute of curiosity.

    The Rescue

    Joseph Conrad

British Dictionary definitions for extorted


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 extorted



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