An example of duress is when you torture a prisoner until he confesses.
- the use of force or threats; compulsion: a confession signed under duress
Origin of duressMiddle English dures ; from Old French durece ; from Classical Latin duritia, hardness, harshness ; from durus, hard ; from Indo-European base an unverified form deru-, tree, oak (orig. uncertain or unknown; perhaps hard) from source tree
- a. Compulsion by threat or violence; coercion: confessed under duress.b. Constraint or difficulty caused by misfortune: “children who needed only temporary care because their parents were ill, out of work, or under some other form of duress” (Stephan O'Connor).
- Law a. A fraud achieved through the use of a threat or compulsion: She had a cause of action for duress. His claim was based on duress.b. A criminal defense for an act undertaken under threat of serious bodily harm: His defense was duress.
- Forcible confinement.
Origin of duressMiddle English duresse, harshness, compulsion, from Old French durece, hardness, from Latin dūritia, from dūrus, hard; see deru- in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present duresses, present participle duressing, simple past and past participle duressed)
- To put under duress; to pressure.
- Someone was duressing her.
- The small nation was duressed into giving up territory.
From Old French duresse, from Latin duritia (“hardness”), from durus (“hard”)
duress - Legal Definition