To compel or force someone to do something against their will.


US English

UK English

Part of speech



pressure, compel, force, constrain, oblige


persuade, encourage, coax, entice, cajole

Example sentences

  • The company tried to coerce the employees to accept the new contract by threatening to cut their benefits.
  • The kidnapper tried to coerce the victim into giving him the access codes to his bank account.
  • The government may resort to coercive measures to stop people from violating lockdown rules.
  • She felt coerced into attending the party, even though she didn’t want to go.


The word “coerce” implies the use of force or threat to make someone do something against their will. It is often used in situations where one person or entity has more power or authority over the other. For example, a boss may coerce an employee into working overtime or a government may coerce its citizens into following its rules and regulations.

The root word of “coerce” is “co-,” which means “together,” and “-erce,” which means “to restrain or control.” Other variations of the word include “coercion” and “coercive,” both of which refer to the act or process of coercing.

It’s important to note that coercion can have negative connotations, as it involves depriving someone of their free will. In some cases, coercion can even be illegal. Therefore, it’s important to use the word carefully and to consider whether there are more appropriate ways to encourage or persuade someone to take a particular action