extortion

/ik stawr"sheuhn/, n.
1. an act or instance of extorting.
2. Law. the crime of obtaining money or some other thing of value by the abuse of one's office or authority.
3. oppressive or illegal exaction, as of excessive price or interest: the extortions of usurers.
4. anything extorted.
[1250-1300; ME extorcion < LL extortion- (s. of extortio). See EXTORT, -ION]
Syn. 1, 4. blackmail.

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Unlawful exaction of money or property through intimidation or undue exercise of authority.

It may include threats of physical harm, criminal prosecution, or public exposure. Some forms of threat, especially those made in writing, are occasionally singled out for separate statutory treatment as blackmail. See also bribery.

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law
      the unlawful exaction of money or property through intimidation. Extortion was originally the complement of bribery, both crimes involving interference with or by public officials. But extortion and, to a limited extent, bribery have been expanded to include actions by private citizens as well.

      Extortion may include threats of harm to a person or his property, threats to accuse him of a crime, or threats to reveal embarrassing information. Some forms of threat are occasionally singled out for separate statutory treatment under the designation “blackmail.”

      The scope given to the offense of extortion in a particular legal system is determined partly by the content of the related offense of robbery. Robbery is typically confined to taking property from the person or presence of the victim by violence or by threat to do an immediate physical harm. More remote and less terrifying threats fall within the province of the extortion and blackmail statutes. It is sometimes said that in extortion the victim consents, although under duress, while in robbery his will is overwhelmed so that there is no consent; but this is an extremely tenuous distinction.

      The crime of extortion is defined to exclude lawful bargaining processes; for example, a union official may threaten to call a strike for higher wages. Such threats are criminal only if used to obtain money or property for the personal gain of the actor. See also bribery. (bribery)

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • extortion — ex·tor·tion /ik stȯr shən/ n 1: the act or practice of extorting esp. money or other property; specif: the act or practice of extorting by a public official acting under color of office 2: the crime of extorting ex·tor·tion·ate / shə nət/ adj… …   Law dictionary

  • Extortion — Ex*tor tion, n. [F. extorsion.] 1. The act of extorting; the act or practice of wresting anything from a person by force, by threats, or by any undue exercise of power; undue exaction; overcharge. [1913 Webster] 2. (Law) The offense committed by… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • extortion — c.1300, from L. extortionem (nom. extortio) a twisting out, extorting, noun of action from pp. stem of extorquere wrench out, wrest away, to obtain by force, from ex out (see EX (Cf. ex )) + torquere to twist (see THWART (Cf. thwart)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • extortion — [n] blackmail; cheating arm, badger, bite, coercion, compulsion, demand, exaction, force, fraud, oppression, payoff, payola*, pressure, protection, racket, rapacity, shake, shakedown*, squeeze, stealing, swindle, theft; concepts 53,139,192,342 …   New thesaurus

  • extortion — [ek stôr′shən, ikstôr′shən] n. [ME extorcioun < OFr extorcion < LL(Ec) extorsio < L extortus] 1. a) the act of extorting, or getting money, etc. by threats, misuse of authority, etc.: sometimes applied to the exaction of too high a price …   English World dictionary

  • Extortion — Exact redirects here. For the exact sciences, see Exact science. Extort redirects here. For the album by KMFDM, see XTORT …   Wikipedia

  • extortion — extort ex‧tort [ɪkˈstɔːt ǁ ɔːrt] verb [transitive] LAW to illegally force someone to give you money by threatening them: extort money from/​out of somebody • Smith was arrested on suspicion of having extorted property and money from at least 18… …   Financial and business terms

  • extortion — The obtaining of property from another induced by wrongful use of actual or threatened force, violence, or fear, or under color of official right. 18 U.S.C.A. No. 871 et seq.; No. 1951. A person is guilty of theft by extortion if he purposely… …   Black's law dictionary

  • extortion — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ attempted ▪ alleged EXTORTION + NOUN ▪ racket ▪ He was known for running a brutal extortion racket …   Collocations dictionary

  • extortion — n. to commit; practice extortion * * * [ɪk stɔːʃ(ə)n] practice extortion to commit …   Combinatory dictionary

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