What does the word duress mean?

Usage examples for duress

  1. That if, at the time of the alleged offence and his entering into the service of the Southern Confederacy, the defendant was so situated as to be unable to obtain either civil or military protection from the United States, whilst at the same time he was compelled to render either military or naval service to the Southern Confederacy, or to leave the country, and, in this event, to have his property sequestrated or confiscated by the laws of the said Confederacy, that such a state of things, if they existed, would amount in law to such duress as entitles the defendant here to an acquittal. – Trial of the Officers and Crew of the Privateer Savannah, on the Charge of Piracy, in the United States Circuit Court for the Southern District of New York by A. F. Warburton
  2. Scott, in particular, felt that he had been forced to give a statement against Par under duress. – Underground by Suelette Dreyfus