from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Compulsion by threat or violence; coercion.
  • noun Constraint or difficulty caused by misfortune.
  • noun A fraud achieved through the use of a threat or compulsion.
  • noun A criminal defense for an act undertaken under threat of serious bodily harm.
  • noun Forcible confinement.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Hardness.
  • noun Hardship; constraint; pressure; imprisonment; restraint of liberty; durance.
  • noun In law, actual or apprehended physical restraint so great as to amount to coercion: a species of fraud in which compulsion in some form takes the place of deception in accomplishing the injury.
  • To subject to duress or restraint; imprison.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Hardship; constraint; pressure; imprisonment; restraint of liberty.
  • noun (Law) The state of compulsion or necessity in which a person is influenced, whether by the unlawful restrain of his liberty or by actual or threatened physical violence, to incur a civil liability or to commit an offense.
  • transitive verb To subject to duress.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun obsolete Harsh treatment.
  • noun Constraint by threat.
  • verb To put under duress; to pressure.

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

  • noun compulsory force or threat


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

[Middle English duresse, harshness, compulsion, from Old French durece, hardness, from Latin dūritia, from dūrus, hard; see deru- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English Old French duresse, from Latin duritia ("hardness"), from durus ("hard")


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  • The word "duress"

    Seems to suggest

    "Ur dress".

    And "under duress",

    "Under ur dress";

    More or less.

    December 6, 2007

  • That's quite clever.

    December 6, 2007

  • Nashworthy!

    December 6, 2007

  • Why thank you!

    December 15, 2007

  • *worried* So these aren't condoms for women?

    December 15, 2007

  • "No I did the express register bein' that the prganizer was under some duress" Janet Evanovich-Finger Lickin Fifteen

    September 23, 2010

  • I am not a little puzzled to find duress and auspice linked together as "Related words/same context". They are virtual antonyms. So what is the relation?

    December 1, 2011

  • Bilby, I thought, having some Australian connections, that is was a type of clear, self-adhesive plastics tape for the fair sex, possibly also known as Sellatape.

    December 1, 2011