V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: the use of force or threats to make somebody do something

Synonyms: coercion, pressure, force, threat

Antonyms: beseeching

Tips: Duress is derived from the Latin duritia, meaning “hardness,” and from durus, “hard.” Think, hard pressure. In law, duress may be used against a criminal suspect or a prisoner in lawful custody to get information or a confession. In law, a contract is null and void if it is signed under duress (force, undue pressure).

Usage Examples:

If it wasn’t for the great duress put upon him by his neighbors, he would never have moved the junk he let pile up on his front yard. (pressure)

The Board was under duress to hire a new CEO. (pressure)

He claimed that the confession was invalid because it was signed under duress. (coercion, force)

The criminal finally confessed to the crime under duress from the interrogating officer. (pressure)

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