To cajole someone is to persuade them by using insincere compliments or promises. If you say "Please, pretty-please, I'll be your best friend," when asking for a stick of gum, you are cajoling the gum holder.

The origin of this word is probably a blend of two French words meaning "to chatter like a jaybird" and "to lure into a cage." When you cajole that guy into lending you some money, picture him as the bird going into the cage. In fact, the word cajole may be associated with another French word meaning "to put in jail."

Definitions of cajole
  1. verb
    influence or urge by gentle urging, caressing, or flattering
    synonyms: blarney, coax, inveigle, palaver, sweet-talk, wheedle
    see moresee less
    persuade someone through flattery
    browbeat, bully, swagger
    discourage or frighten with threats or a domineering manner; intimidate
    type of:
    cause somebody to adopt a certain position, belief, or course of action; twist somebody's arm
Word Family

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