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coercion, freedom, autonomy, liberty


Trials and Tribulations, Command and Constraint, Chasms and Carnage, Anxiety and Fear



How to pronounce duress (audio)


Dictionary definition of duress

The use of force, threats, or coercion to induce a person to do something against their will.
"The victim was forced to hand over their valuables under duress."

Detailed meaning of duress

It can also refer to a situation in which a person is compelled to act in a certain way due to the actions of another person or group. Duress can take many forms, including physical, emotional, or financial pressure. For example, a person may be forced to sign a contract or to perform a certain task under threat of violence or harm, or they may be coerced into making a false statement or committing a crime. In legal contexts, duress is often used as a defense in criminal cases, in which the defendant claims that they were compelled to commit a crime due to threats or pressure from another person. However, the defense of duress is not always successful and can be difficult to prove.

Example sentences containing duress

1. The suspect claimed that his confession was made under duress.
2. The hostages were held in duress for several days before being released.
3. The witness testified that she signed the document under duress and not willingly.
4. The victim's family was forced to pay a ransom under duress to secure their loved one's release.
5. The defendant's lawyer argued that the contract was signed under duress and should be considered void.
6. The employees felt they were working under duress due to the unreasonable demands of their supervisor.

History and etymology of duress

The noun 'duress' has its origins in Old French, coming from the term 'duerece,' which means 'hardness' or 'severity.' It entered Middle English as 'duresse' and eventually evolved into its current form. 'Duress' refers to the use of force, threats, or coercion to induce a person to do something against their will. Its etymology reflects the concept of hardship and the harsh conditions that individuals may face when they are compelled to act under pressure or fear. This term underscores the idea that actions taken under duress are often not voluntary but are instead a result of external constraints or intimidation, highlighting the moral and legal implications of such actions.

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Further usage examples of duress

1. The company was accused of putting its workers under duress by threatening their job security.
2. The victim's statement was dismissed as being made under duress, as it was coerced by the perpetrator.
3. The kidnappers used physical duress to extract information from their captive.
4. The judge ruled that the defendant's actions were not voluntary but a result of duress.
5. The victim's testimony revealed the emotional duress she experienced during the traumatic event.
6. The suspect claimed that he acted under duress and had no choice but to commit the crime.
7. The witness protection program ensured that participants were relocated to new identities to escape duress.
8. The lawyer argued that the defendant's confession was obtained through duress and should be inadmissible in court.
9. The victim sought therapy to address the psychological duress caused by the abusive relationship.
10. The employee filed a complaint against the company, alleging emotional duress in the workplace.
11. The law enforcement agency established a hotline for individuals experiencing domestic duress.
12. The victim's family was placed under duress by the media, constantly seeking interviews and updates on the case.
13. The counselor provided resources and support to victims of duress, helping them rebuild their lives.
14. The suspect was charged with assault, battery, and causing bodily harm under duress.

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