What Does Cajole Someone Into Something Mean?

Cajole Someone Into Something Meaning

Definition: To convince or persuade someone.

The verb to cajole means to convince someone to do what you want. It can be used with a variety of prepositional phrases, which means it is possible to cajole someone into doing what you want and to cajole someone out of doing something you do not want him or her to do.

Usually, to cajole someone is to be overly flattering or possibly even deceptive in order to get what you desire. Cajoling is not necessarily a polite way of obtaining what you want from somebody.

Origin of Cajole Someone Into or Out of Something

define cajole someone into somethingThe first known use of the word cajole is from 1630. Prior to its use in English, cajole was used in French as the verb cajoler.

Cajoler, in turn, probably comes from a blend of two other words. One of the words is French gajole, deriving from geai, meaning jaybird.  The other word is gaiole, the Anglo-French word for birdcage or jail, deriving ultimately from cavea, a Latin word meaning cage.

It is possible that this means that to cajole someone may have to do with cornering him or her or metaphorically putting him or her into a cage where they must agree with you or do what you desire.

Examples of Cajole Someone Into or Out of Something

meaning of cajole someoneA smarmy politician might attempt to cajole people into voting for him by bribing them or offering to give them some benefits if he elected. He is attempting to convince them to do what he wants through persuasive behavior.

A teacher may also try to cajole her students into getting excited about a lesson. In order to cajole them into being excited, she may show fun videos related to their topic of study.

Someone else may try to cajole someone out of doing something. For example, if a friend has been busy recently, you might try to cajole him out of going to a party so that he stays in and talks with you more.

More Examples

  • These days about 40 percent, compared with a scant 4 percent a year ago, are entered into the automated electronic system, with much of the data also arriving here by computer from seven of the larger brokers that Mr. Beikirch has helped cajole into making the necessary investment. –New York Times
  • The service, which recentlyreceived $1 million in funding, allows users to send anyone they can cajole into also installing Yo a message that says, well, “yo.” Seriously, that’s all you can say.  –Time

Summary

The phrase to cajole someone is to convince him or her.