Duress

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Duress

1. 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. (Burke)

2. 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.

Origin: OF. Duresse, du, hardship, severity, L. Duritia, durities, fr. Durus hard. See Dure.