- Duress is defined as making someone do something against his will, or making someone perform an illegal act, by using threats, coercion or other illicit means.
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.
duress - Legal Definition