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See also: cajolé



Borrowed from French cajoler, probably a blend of Middle French cageoler (chatter like a jay) (from gajole, dialectal diminutive of geai (jaybird)) + Old French gaioler (entice into a cage), which is from Medieval Latin gabiola, from Late Latin caveola (whence English caveola), diminutive of Latin cavea (cage, coop, enclosure, stall). More at cage, cave, cavum and cavus.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /kəˈdʒəʊl/
  • (US) enPR: kə-jōlʹ, IPA(key): /kəˈd͡ʒoʊl/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -əʊl
  • Hyphenation: ca‧jole


cajole (third-person singular simple present cajoles, present participle cajoling, simple past and past participle cajoled)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To persuade someone to do something which they are reluctant to do, especially by flattery or promises; to coax.
    Synonyms: butter up, coax, entice, inveigle, sweet-talk, wheedle
    • 1722 (indicated as 1721), [Daniel Defoe], The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders, &c. [], 3rd edition, London: [] W[illiam Rufus] Chetwood, []; and T. Edlin, []; W[illiam] Mears, []; J. Brotherton, []; C. King, and J. Stags, [], published 1722, OCLC 745118774, page 12:
      Then he cajoled with his brother, and persuaded him what service he had done him.
    • 1820, [Walter Scott], chapter I, in The Abbot. [], volume III, Edinburgh: [] [James Ballantyne & Co.] for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, []; and for Archibald Constable and Company, and John Ballantyne, [], OCLC 963570130, page 26:
      If you are cajoled by the cunning arguments of a trumpeter of heresy, or the praises of a puritanic old woman, is not that womanish?
    • 1894, Horatio Alger, Only An Irish Boy, ch. 19:
      He had tried bullying, and without success. He would try cajoling and temptation.
    • 1898, Gilbert Parker, The Battle Of The Strong, ch. 37:
      [W]ith eloquent arts he had cajoled a young girl into a secret marriage.
    • 1917, Upton Sinclair, King Coal, ch. 8:
      Schulman, general manager of the "G. F. C.," had been sending out messengers to hunt for him, and finally had got him in his office, arguing and pleading, cajoling and denouncing him by turns.
    • 2010 August 4, Michael Scherer, "NonSTARTer? Obama's Troubled Nuclear Treaty," Time:
      For weeks, the White House, the Pentagon and Senate Democrats have been working overtime to cajole, convince and placate Republicans.
    • 2012 July 13, Alex Williams, “Why Is It Hard to Make Friends Over 30?”, in New York Times[1]:
      But the wife was visibly unimpressed by Ms. Baskin’s half-furnished home (they had just moved in) and thrown-together spaghetti dinner. “It was basically clear that his wife had been cajoled into attending,” said Ms. Baskin, 33. “She settled on to our rickety Ikea kitchen chairs like she was lowering herself into a coal mine.”

Derived terms[edit]



cajole (plural cajoles)

  1. The act of cajoling




  1. inflection of cajoler:
    1. first/third-person singular present indicative/subjunctive
    2. second-person singular imperative