Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To obtain from another by coercion or intimidation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To wrest from an unwilling person by physical force, menace, duress, torture, or any undue or illegal exercise of power or ingenuity; to wrench away (from); to tear away; to wring (from); to exact; as, to extort contributions from the vanquished; to extort confessions of guilt; to extort a promise; to extort payment of a debt.
  • v. To obtain by means of the offense of extortion.
  • v. To twist outwards.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To practice extortion.
  • Extorted.
  • transitive v. To wrest from an unwilling person by physical force, menace, duress, torture, or any undue or illegal exercise of power or ingenuity; to wrench away (from); to tear away; to wring (from); to exact
  • transitive v. To get by the offense of extortion. See Extortion, 2.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To obtain, as from a holder of desired possessions or knowledge, by force or compulsion; wrest or wring away by any violent or oppressive means, as physical force, menace, duress, torture, authority, monopoly, or the necessities of others.
  • In law, to take illegally under color of office. See extortion.
  • To practise extortion.
  • Extortionate.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. get or cause to become in a difficult or laborious manner
  • v. obtain through intimidation
  • v. obtain by coercion or intimidation

Etymologies

Latin extorquēre, extort-, to wrench out, extort : ex-, ex- + torquēre, to twist; see terkw- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin extortus, past participle of extorquere ("to twist or wrench out, to extort"); from ex ("out") + -tort, from torqueō ("twist, turn"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • If you leave any where else, ask youself this: how much did MY senator extort from the Dems to buy his/her vote?

    Graham: Dems engaging in 'seedy Chicago politics'

  • Any postiton on APD cops who the beat the hell out of their girlfriends and don't get suspended? ...... or is it all about how much $$$$ we can extort from the honest, hard-working people of Aurora?

    City of Aurora's Labor Union Negotiations Continue with Mixed Progress, Complaints and Counter-Complaints

  • Good provender did these people extort from the poor whalemen, and this provender has wandered into few hands.

    A Hyperborean Brew

  • The original Austro-Polish solution was taken up again, although it was impossible to extort from the Germans a definite statement as to a reasonable western frontier for Poland.

    Im Weltkriege. English

  • His hungry brethren cannot, without a sense of their own injustice, extort from the hunter the game of the forest overtaken or slain by his personal strength and dexterity.

    The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

  • Every art was tried to extort from the people the gold and silver which he scattered with a lavish hand from Persia to France: 81 his reign was marked by the vicissitudes or rather by the combat, of rapaciousness and avarice, of splendor and poverty; he lived with the reputation of hidden treasures, 82 and bequeathed to his successor the payment of his debts.

    The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

  • The liberality of the emperor was accompanied, however, with two harsh and rigorous conditions, which prudence might justify on the side of the Romans; but which distress alone could extort from the indignant Goths.

    The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

  • They dreaded the mysterious power of spells and incantations, of potent herbs, and execrable rites; which could extinguish or recall life, inflame the passions of the soul, blast the works of creation, and extort from the reluctant daemons the secrets of futurity.

    The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

  • Not at all coincidentally, it’s the same amount the studios are trying to extort from the ex-marine.

    MPAA ramps up p2p attacks

  • Bunker's Hill) extort from the parish official (ruling elder) liberty to use the vacant school-house for that purpose, whereupon Peg, with a toss of her foolish high head (a loud, absurd, empty woman, though an empty especially of any mischief), 'Ah well; thou canna cut me out of God's

    Letters and Memorials of Jane Welsh Carlyle

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