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coercion (noun) the use of force to get someone to do something.

When a person does something against their will, because they are forced to do it, or threatened into doing it, they do it under coercion. 'Henry says that he signed the document under coercion.' This means, he was forced to sign the document under threat of serious consequences. People use coercion when they want others to do things which they refuse to do. That is, people use threats and force to make others do what they want done.

  • Under strong coercion from the Church which threatened him with severe punishment, Galileo withdrew his statement that the Earth goes round the Sun.
  • The witness said in the court that the document could not be taken as his statement, because he had to sign it under coercion from the police who threatened him with torture.
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Last Modified : 11-May 2009
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