The DICT Development Group
1 definition found
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :
Coerce \Co*erce"\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Coerced; p. pr. & vb.
n. Coercing.] [L. co["e]rcere; co- + arcere to shut up, to
press together. See Ark.]
1. To restrain by force, especially by law or authority; to
repress; to curb. --Burke.
Punishments are manifold, that they may coerce this
profligate sort. --Ayliffe.
2. To compel or constrain to any action; as, to coerce a man
to vote for a certain candidate.
3. To compel or enforce; as, to coerce obedience.
Syn: To Coerce, Compel.
Usage: To compel denotes to urge on by force which cannot be
resisted. The term aplies equally to physical and
moral force; as, compelled by hunger; compelled
adverse circumstances; compelled by parental
affection. Coerce had at first only the negative sense
of checking or restraining by force; as, to coerce a
bad man by punishments or a prisoner with fetters. It
has now gained a positive sense., viz., that of
driving a person into the performance of some act
which is required of him by another; as, to coerce a
man to sign a contract; to coerce obedience. In this
sense (which is now the prevailing one), coerce
differs but little from compel, and yet there is a
distinction between them. Coercion is usually
acomplished by indirect means, as threats and
intimidation, physical force being more rarely
employed in coercing.
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