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Definition obtaining something by threat


charging unfair prices of someone who has little choice
  • She received an extortion note threatening to harm her children if she did not hand over $100,000.
  • Dishonest officials undermine faith in government through extortion of fees for performing their sworn duty.
  • extortion = obtaining something by threat (in this case, refusing to do their duty without payment — such as not granting a license needed to do business)
  • It isn't just drugs. Extortion, kidnapping for ransom, and protection rackets all help fund the growing Afghan insurgency.,9171,1919154,00.html  --  Time Magazine, 2009
  • Such lawsuits amount to legal extortion.
  • To the eye it is fair enough, here; but seen in its integrity, under the sky, and by the daylight, it is a crumbling tower of waste, mismanagement, extortion, debt, mortgage, oppression, hunger, nakedness, and suffering.
    Charles Dickens  --  A Tale Of Two Cities
  • In the first place, because the confessions that they had made were obviously extorted and untrue.
    George Orwell  --  1984
  • extorted = obtained by threat
  • "Ah, you are angry!" cried Morris, who wished immensely that he could extort some flash of passion from her mildness.
    Henry James  --  Washington Square
  • 'And what was the repentance that was extorted from the hardness of her heart and the blackness of her depravity?
    Charles Dickens  --  Little Dorrit
  • He added it to his idea of his role; and he would use that authority later to extort some new concession.
    V.S. Naipaul  --  A Bend in the River
  • 'Well, my dear friend,' said my aunt, after a pause, 'and you have really extorted the money back from him?'
    Charles Dickens  --  David Copperfield
  • Shall the Church be permitted to influence indefinitely with murder and extortion?
    Dan Brown  --  The Da Vinci Code
  • How is it possible to extort a meaning from all this jargon about 'devil's seats,'
    Edgar Allan Poe  --  The Gold-Bug
  • I'm sure you're aware there are only two ways to stop extortion, Chief Simpson.
    J.D. Robb  --  Naked in Death
  • He could always extort a day or two in class from them with the free weekly pizza.
    Jerry Spinelli  --  Maniac Magee
  • 109:11 Let the extortioner catch all that he hath; and let the strangers spoil his labour.
    The Bible  --  Psalms
  • "You do well to boast of it," said Andrea, who, without becoming angry, as Caderousse feared, at this new extortion, quietly resigned the ring.
    Alexandre Dumas  --  The Count of Monte Cristo
  • Both gentlemen had a glance at Fanny, to see if a word of accordant praise could be extorted from her; yet both feeling that it could not be.
    Jane Austen  --  Mansfield Park
  • You shall extort bonds, foreclose mortgages, drive the merchants to bankruptcy—
    Washington Irving  --  The Devil and Tom Walker
  • They could protect themselves from equitable sacrifices or, in emergencies, to extort unreasonable indulgences.
    Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, & John Jay  --  The Federalist Papers — Modern English Edition 2
  • "I do refuse it," I replied; "and no torture shall ever extort a consent from me.
    Mary Shelley  --  Frankenstein

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