• WordNet 3.6
    • n duress compulsory force or threat "confessed under duress"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Duress Hardship; constraint; pressure; imprisonment; restraint of liberty. "The agreements . . . made with the landlords during the time of slavery, are only the effect of duress and force."
    • Duress (Law) The state of compulsion or necessity in which a person is influenced, whether by the unlawful restrain of his liberty or by actual or threatened physical violence, to incur a civil liability or to commit an offense.
    • v. t Duress To subject to duress. "The party duressed ."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n duress Hardness.
    • n duress Hardship; constraint; pressure; imprisonment; restraint of liberty; durance.
    • n duress In law, actual or apprehended physical restraint so great as to amount to coercion: a species of fraud in which compulsion in some form takes the place of deception in accomplishing the injury.
    • duress To subject to duress or restraint; imprison.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Duress dūr′es or dūr-es′ constraint: imprisonment: constraint illegally exercised to force a person to perform some act.
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OF. duresse, du, hardship, severity, L. duritia, durities, fr. durus, hard. See Dure
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. duresse—L. duritiadurus, hard.


In literature:

Under duress, even her new found trust in Providence began to falter.
"The Magnificent Montez" by Horace Wyndham
Furthermore, a signature obtained under duress is of no value in court.
"The Rainy Day Railroad War" by Holman Day
A little smile escaped from the duress of Alma's lips and twitched her dimples.
"Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1907 to 1908" by Lucy Maud Montgomery
But at length it was become inconvenient to keep him under duress.
"Sir Walter Ralegh" by William Stebbing
He considered himself as, in fact, in duress, and his actions as not free.
"William the Conqueror" by Jacob Abbott
During the latter part of our duress here we were driven below by raw, incessant rain, and the confinement became irksome.
"The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 15, No. 87, January, 1865" by Various
If this ship goes back, you'll take her back yourself, with me and my mates under duress.
"The Grain Ship" by Morgan Robertson
I signed that contract under duress.
"Sir Henry Morgan, Buccaneer" by Cyrus Townsend Brady
To obtain possession of the fatal drug, they placed the foreigners in duresse.
"The Continental Monthly, Vol. 4, No. 5, November, 1863" by Various
Lord Culpeper came under duress and returned as soon as possible to England.
"A History of the Town of Fairfax" by Jeanne Johnson Rust

In poetry:

On two asses I happened
Without duress or dole
They were there in the market,
A dam and her foal.
"Asses" by Padraic Colum
How dark to Being's baffled glance
The pits of night and nothingness,
Here manacled in Law's duress
The allegiant Pleiades advance!
"The Testimony of the Suns" by George Sterling
So let them scatter, jangled in Duress.
What reckons Love of Hairpins more or less?
Guard well your Heart and let the Hairpins go -
To lose your Heart were arrant Carelessness.
"The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám Jr." by Wallace Irwin

In news:

Humans in duress eat other humans, always have.
Under Financial Duress , Post Office Delivers.
Chinese dissident says he accepted deal under duress .
Judge denies prosecutor's request to change definition of ' duress ' in Newark schoolyard slayings trial.
Later that year she was also convicted of adultery and sentenced to be stoned , even though she retracted a confession which she claims was made under duress.
2002 Document Referred to Extreme Duress as 'Torture,' Warned of Techniques' Unreliability .
Departing under duress, Berlin Film Festival director Moritz de Hadeln chose for his final opening night a film guaranteed to offend his mostly German audience.
I know if you're under duress based on how you're responding.
The 102-year-old family firm will relocate — under duress — to make way for the Hudson Yards real-estate development.
In 1974 a White House under duress released a transcript of President Nixon's secret tapes.
Under Financial Duress, Post Office Delivers.
Eli Manning and the Giants have been under duress in recent weeks.
' Revenge ' recap: Duress.
Canada Offers "Duress" Defense for Battered Women.
Attorney argues duress as a defense.