duress

  

Definition

Coercion to effect an unwilling person's agreement to a transaction. It may take the form of a (1) compulsive act, (2) threat that causes fear, or (3) use of moral or social pressure to overpower the will of the individual. Agreements entered into, or testaments signed under, duress are judged illegal and invalid. See also coercion and undue influence.

Use duress in a sentence

  • I don't think I could bring myself to play a certain ovine piece (except under great duress) for quite a while.

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  • The police officers demanded information from the female suspect and even though she wanted to refuse, she answered their questions under duress.

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  • The captured soldier was placed under extreme duress by the ongoing sleep deprivation and continual exposure to the driving wind and cold winter tempertures.

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