Origin of extortfrom Classical Latin extortus, past participle of extorquere, to twist or turn out from ex-, out + torquere, to twist: see tort
An example of to extort is a kidnapper getting money from the family of a person they have taken in order to get the person returned.
verbex·tort·ed, ex·tort·ing, ex·torts
- To obtain (something) by the criminal offense of extortion.
- To obtain by coercion, intimidation, or psychological pressure: “[She] has no recourse but to model herself on her aunt in a fruitless effort to extort affection from her” ( Claudia Nelson )
Origin of extortLatin extorquēre extort- to wrench out, extort ex- ex- torquēre to twist ; see terkw- in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present extorts, present participle extorting, simple past and past participle extorted)
- To wrest from an unwilling person by physical force, menace, duress, torture, or any undue or illegal exercise of power or ingenuity; to wrench away (from); to tear away; to wring (from); to exact; as, to extort contributions from the vanquished; to extort confessions of guilt; to extort a promise; to extort payment of a debt.
- (law) To obtain by means of the offense of extortion.
- (intransitive, medicine, ophthalmology) To twist outwards.
extort - Legal Definition
- He came to supersede self-government by consuls, to deprive the cities of the privilege of making war on their own account and to extort his regalian rights of forage, food and lodging for his armies.
- He also used his power to extort enormous pensions from Charles V.
- In acting thus he did not scruple to desert his own royalist followers, and to repudiate and abandon the great and noble Montrose, whose heroic efforts he was apparently merely using in order to extort better terms from the covenanters, and who, having been captured on the 4th of May, was executed on the 21st in spite of some attempts by Charles to procure for him an indemnity.
- It sounded far too good to be true, especially since Darkyn knew who she was and what he might extort out of Gabriel to have his mate returned.
- Roustan therefore hastened to extort from the bey concessions calculated to neutralize the advantages which Italy had hoped to secure by the possession of the Tunis- Goletta line, and at the same time the French government prepared at Toulon an expeditionary corps for the occupation of the Regency.