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1. Illegal use of one's official position or powers to obtain property, funds, or patronage.
2. The act or an instance of extorting something, as by psychological pressure.
3. An excessive or exorbitant charge.

ex·tor′tion·ar′y (-shə-nĕr′ē) adj.
ex·tor′tion·ist, ex·tor′tion·er n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


the act of securing money, favours, etc by intimidation or violence; blackmail
exˈtortioner, exˈtortionist n
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ɪkˈstɔr ʃən)

1. an act or instance of extorting.
2. the crime of obtaining money or some other thing of value by the abuse of one's office or authority.
3. anything extorted.
[1250–1300; Middle English < Late Latin]
ex•tor′tion•ist, ex•tor′tion•er, n.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.



badger game Extortion, blackmail, intimidation achieved through deception; most specifically, the scheme in which a woman entices a man into a compromising situation, and then victimizes him by demanding money when her male accomplice, often pretending to be the enraged husband, arrives on the scene, threatening violence or scandal. The expression, in common use in the United States since the early 1900s, arose from the cruel sport of badger baiting, in which a live badger was placed in a hole or a barrel so that it could be easily attacked by dogs. Thus, to badger came to mean ‘to worry, pester, or harass,’ and, more intensively, in the sense above, ‘to persecute or blackmail.’ The woman decoy in the badger game is called the badger-worker.

bleed To extort money from an individual or an organization; to pay an unreasonable amount of money; to pay through the nose. This slang term has been in use since the 17th century, at which time bleeding was a common surgical practice. Whether bleeding was natural or surgically induced, loss of blood was significant. The significance of money to most people, and the fact that it can be paid out with or without force, makes the figurative use of bleed relating to money a logical extension of the literal meaning.

fry the fat out of To obtain money by high-pressure tactics or extortion; to milk, put the squeeze on. Just as the frying process removes excess fat, so does extortion or high-pressure fund-raising tactics remove the “fat” or excess wealth from the affluent. This now little-used U.S. slang expression dates from the late 19th century.

His main qualification is admitted to be that of a good collector of funds. No one could, in the historic phrase, fry out more fat. (The Nation, April, 1904)

put the bite on To solicit money from, to hit up for a loan; also, to do so through force, thus, to extort money from, to blackmail. Both uses play on the idea of extracting by exerting pressure. The alternate put the bee on is usually limited to the less forceful borrowing sense. Webster’s Third cites Hartley Howard:

… some smooth hoodlum puts the bee on his daughter for two thousand bucks.

The stronger meaning is the more common, however:

Or did he just happen to see what happened and put the bite on you and you paid him a little now and then to avoid scandal? (Raymond Chandler, High Window, 1942)

shakedown Extortion, blackmail; a forced contribution, as for protection. This term originally referred to a method of getting fruits and nuts out of a tree. In its figurative applications, shakedown conjures images of a person’s being turned upside down and shaken to forcefully remove the money from his pockets.

He [a New York City policeman] was fined 30 days’ pay because he would not stand for a “shakedown,” which means that he had refused to give from time to time upon demand 5 or 10 dollars from his meagre salary to his superiors to be used for purposes unknown. (A. Hodder, The Fight For The City, 1903)

Shake down ‘to extort, plunder’ is frequently used as a verb phrase.

For only last week they were shook down for five hundred by a stray fellow from the Department. (J. Barbicon, Confessions of a Rum-Runner, 1927)

Picturesque Expressions: A Thematic Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1980 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.extortion - an exorbitant charge
overcharge - a price that is too high
2.extortion - unjust exaction (as by the misuse of authority); "the extortion by dishonest officials of fees for performing their sworn duty"
exaction - act of demanding or levying by force or authority; "exaction of tribute"; "exaction of various dues and fees"
3.extortion - the felonious act of extorting money (as by threats of violence)
felony - a serious crime (such as murder or arson)
blackmail - extortion of money by threats to divulge discrediting information
tribute, protection - payment extorted by gangsters on threat of violence; "every store in the neighborhood had to pay him protection"
shakedown - extortion of money (as by blackmail)
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


noun blackmail, force, oppression, compulsion, coercion, shakedown (U.S. slang), rapacity, exaction He has been charged with extortion and abusing his position.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002
إنْتِزاع، إبْتِزاز بالقُوَّه
nauîung; fjárkúgun
zorla alma


[ɪksˈtɔːʃən] Nextorsión f, exacción f; (by public figure) → concusión f
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ɪkˈstɔːrʃən] nextorsion f
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


n (of money)Erpressung f; (of signature)Erzwingung f; this is sheer extortion! (inf)das ist ja Wucher!
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ɪksˈtɔːʃn] nestorsione f
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(ikˈstoːt) verb
to obtain (from a person) by threats or violence. They extorted a confession from him by torture.
exˈtortion (-ʃən) noun
exˈtortionate (-nət) adjective
(of a price) much too high. That restaurant's prices are extortionate!
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.
References in classic literature ?
According to the tenor of the sentence, which the criers read aloud and incorrectly, two farmers of the revenues, monopolists of money, dilapidators of the royal provisions, extortioners, and forgers, were about to undergo capital punishment on the Place de Greve, with their names blazoned over their heads, according to their sentence.
The police are thieves and extortioners (I myself would patrol it with cavalry - young recruits under a strong captain), but at least they do not suffer any rivals.
The two extortioners continued cold and motionless.
Felton only expressed, with regard to the duke, the feeling of execration which all the English had declared toward him whom the Catholics themselves called the extortioner, the pillager, the debauchee, and whom the Puritans styled simply Satan.
A fine game for him to play, a game after his mean old heart: blackmail from me, bribes from the police, the one bidding against the other; but he sha'n't play it with me, he sha'n't live to, and the world will have an extortioner the less.
After 1896, Kwame Tua exhibited all of these traits in Kumase and gained a singular notoriety among those whom the Asante recall bitterly as bullying extortioners ([phrase omitted]).
nevertheless, the Persian practice is very good in despotisms, where fear of the people's fleeing or departing with what they owe checks or moderates the persecution of pashas and extortioners.") (footnote omitted); EMER DE VATTEL, THE LAW OF NATIONS 220-33 (Liberty Press 2008) (1758) ("[T]he sovereign abuses his power, and reduces his subjects to an insupportable slavery, if he refuses them permission to travel for their own advantage, when he might grant it to them without inconvenience, and without danger to the state.