Extortion refers to the act of obtaining something, typically money, through the use of force, threats, or other forms of intimidation or coercion. It is a crime that involves taking something of value from another person against their will.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



blackmail, coercion, shakedown, intimidation, pressure, force, threat, squeeze


liberality, generosity

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun extortionist, extortion, extortions, extortionists
Verb extorted, extort, extorts, extorting
Adjective None
Adverb None

Example Sentences

  • The mafia boss was arrested for extortion after he demanded money from several local businesses in exchange for “protection.”

  • The corrupt politician was found guilty of extortion when he used his position to pressure a company into giving him a large sum of money.

  • The victim of the extortion felt intimidated and scared for her safety, but eventually went to the police and reported the crime.

  • The company was forced to pay a large sum of money to avoid being the target of extortion from a group of hackers.


The word “extortion” is often used in legal and criminal contexts to describe a specific type of crime. It is sometimes used interchangeably with other related terms, such as blackmail or coercion, but extortion typically involves the use of threats or force to obtain something of value from another person. The crime of extortion can take many different forms, such as demanding payment for protection or using threats to force someone to sign over property.

The root of the word “extortion” is the Latin term “extorquere,” which means “to twist out.” This refers to the idea of twisting someone’s arm or putting pressure on them to get them to do something against their will. The prefix “ex-” means “out,” which adds to the sense of something being taken or removed from someone.

The act of extortion is a serious crime that can result in significant legal and financial consequences. Those who engage in extortion can face criminal charges and penalties, including imprisonment and fines. It is important for individuals and businesses to be aware of the signs of extortion and to take steps to protect themselves from this type of criminal activity. This may include reporting suspicious behavior to the authorities and seeking legal advice to protect their interests.