coax 1 (kōks)
v. coaxed, coax·ing, coax·es
1. To persuade or try to persuade by pleading or flattery; cajole.
2. To obtain by persistent persuasion: coaxed the secret out of the child.
3. Obsolete To caress; fondle.
4. To move to or adjust toward a desired end: "A far more promising approach to treating advanced melanoma is to coax the immune system to recognize melanoma cells as deadly" (Natalie Angier).
To use persuasion or inducement.
[Obsolete cokes, to fool, from cokes, fool.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.