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SAT vocabulary: extort

What does extort mean? Read below for the definition.

Quick vocab quiz for the word extort

First, before you read about the word extort, try this quick vocab quiz:

extort most nearly means

(A) blackmail (B) endure (C) perish (D) stay (E) dry up

Write your answer down, or just store it in that razor-sharp mind of yours. (If you can’t wait, the answer is below.)

Now let’s learn about the word extort.

Part of Speech of extort

extort is a(n) 4.

Pronunciation extort

Here’s how to pronounce extort:

IPA: /ɪk.ˈstɔrt/

Glossary-style: [ihk-STOHRT]

Definition of extort

extort means: obtain something from somebody, especially money, using threats, intimidation, or coercion (Ex: to extort “protection money” from shop owners).

An envelope with a blackmail note on it.
Blackmail is a way to extort people.
Explain more about extort, please

To extort is to get something from someone against his will, especially by intimidation. For example, if someone says, “Give me your money, or I’ll punch you in the face”, that’s extortion.

A common form of extortion (the noun form of extort), at least in American mob movies, is so-called protection money. In this scam, criminals tell shopkeepers that they need to pay them a certain amount of money per month or week in order to remain safe from unsavory characters, when in fact it’s the criminals themselves who will do the damage to the stores if the shopkeepers don’t pay up.

Example of extort

Here’s the word extort used in a sentence:

I thought my mother was extorting me by threatening to take away my video games if I didn’t maintain a 4.0 GPA, but she claimed it was just good parenting to put grades first.

If you’ve read this far, you’re a great student and will learn vocabulary quickly. You may now check your answer.

Answer to the quick vocab quiz

By Erin Billy

Founder of TestMagic, Inc. in San Francisco, USA.

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