What's the word for statements like “Stay with me or I'm breaking your car” It's not blackmail, exactly, so what is the word to describe this type of 'if you do this, I'll do that' scenario/statement?

  • Yes it is blackmail, according to the definition in law.
    – Chenmunka
    Nov 17 at 8:33

4 Answers 4


It could be considered controlling or coercive behaviour, or even a type of emotional blackmail; both fit within the broader definition of abuse & are part of a behavioural process known as transactional dynamics. which studies how relationships balance [or don't] in an ongoing 'family' situation.


I would say that it could be described as blackmail, in its secondary definition:

The use of threats or the manipulation of someone's feelings to force them to do something. (Oxford Languages)

  • 2
    The OP gave the answer in a comment, which was deleted, but it was pretty much spot on. If you want, you can include "ultimatum“ in your answer.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Nov 16 at 8:49
  • 5
    What's wrong with just threat?
    – DjinTonic
    Nov 16 at 14:01

This is extortion.

The crime of extortion is very similar to blackmail. It also involves obtaining something from another person (usually money, property, or services) through the use of threats of physical harm or coercion.

Generally speaking, an act can be defined as extortion when the actions that are threatened in the unwarranted demand would include physical violence or damage, or constitute an offence themselves. A protection racket, for example (a criminal system where “protection” from harm is offered for money) falls under this category.

[Draycott Browne; Solicitors]

The definitions I've found in freely available online dictionaries do not explicitly mention 'services' (compliant behaviour in general; acquiescence).


As DjinTonic has already pointed out in a comment under one of the other answers, the most obvious word for what is described in the question is threat. If this obvious word is not the right one for the OP's purposes, the OP needs to expand the question and explain what circumstances call for a different word.

It is unfortunate that a moderator's locking the comments has made it necessary to post this as a wiki-answer, which makes this page excessively elaborate for a question that arguably should have been closed as too trivial and then deleted (if it turned out that threat was satisfactory for the OP's purposes), or could have been edited in response to comments posted under the question to make the OP's purposes clearer (if the OP had in mind something for which threat is inadequate).

  • Posting a meta-answer rather than an actual one is also good reason for the community wiki. It saves you from the downvotes;) BTW, comments are only blocked on the question, not answers.
    – Tetsujin
    Nov 16 at 17:07

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