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Extortionate   /ɛkstˈɔrʃənət/  /ɛkstˈɔrʃənˌeɪt/   Listen
Extortionate

adjective
1.
Greatly exceeding bounds of reason or moderation.  Synonyms: exorbitant, outrageous, steep, unconscionable, usurious.  "Extortionate prices" , "Spends an outrageous amount on entertainment" , "Usurious interest rate" , "Unconscionable spending"






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Extortionate" Quotes from Famous Books



... but warnings were issued by the mayor of this and other nearby cities that merchants must not take advantage of the situation to charge extortionate prices. All attempts of this nature in Cincinnati were promptly ...
— The True Story of Our National Calamity of Flood, Fire and Tornado • Logan Marshall

... miserable old craft, apparently a stranger to beauty and comfort from her youth up. The price charged for this short passage of eight or nine hours is enormously dear. The travellers will, however, soon have their revenge on the extortionate proprietors; a railroad is constructing, by means of which this distance will be traversed in a much shorter time, and at a ...
— Visit to Iceland - and the Scandinavian North • Ida Pfeiffer

... uprightness and faithfulness, He refers to these six books on the Republic as so many hostages [Footnote: Praedibus.] for his uncorrupt integrity and untarnished honor, and makes them his apology to Atticus for declining to urge an extortionate demand on ...
— De Amicitia, Scipio's Dream • Marcus Tullius Ciceronis

... still persisted in the belief that they ruled the country by virtue of their ballots. In reality, the country was ruled by what were called POLITICAL MACHINES. At first the machine bosses charged the master capitalists extortionate tolls for legislation; but in a short time the master capitalists found it cheaper to own the political machines themselves and ...
— The Iron Heel • Jack London

... then came to me with two cocks as a present. I spoke to him about the impolicy of treatment we had received at his hands, and quoted the example of the Bangalas, who had been conquered by the Portuguese, for their extortionate demands of payment for firewood, grass, water, etc., and concluded by denying his right to any payment for simply passing through uncultivated land. To all this he agreed; and then I gave him, as a token of friendship, a pannikin ...
— Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa - Journeys and Researches in South Africa • David Livingstone

... Musa, came in from a ten days' search after grain, and described the whole country to be in the most dreadful state of famine. Wanyamuezi were lying about dead from starvation in all directions, and he did not think we should ever get through Usui, as Suwarora, the chief, was so extortionate he would "tear us to pieces"; but advised our waiting until the war was settled, when all the Arabs would combine and go with us. Musa even showed fear, but arranged, at my suggestion, that he should send some men to Rumanika, informing him of our intention to visit him, and begging, ...
— The Discovery of the Source of the Nile • John Hanning Speke

... except amongst those little enclaves of oblivion where the old character and old breeding still maintain a fading existence, and as we consider what we have become we sometimes wonder if the price we have paid for "democracy" was not too extortionate. ...
— Towards the Great Peace • Ralph Adams Cram

... nearly seven thousand boxes, on each of which the enormous rent of $16 per annum is charged. Considering that the box system is quite as advantageous to the Government as to the box holder, this rent is simply extortionate. ...
— Lights and Shadows of New York Life - or, the Sights and Sensations of the Great City • James D. McCabe

... hear all from me," rejoined the hostess. "I should have been reduced to beggary had I submitted to their extortionate usage. I bore it as long as I could, but when absolute ruin stared me in the face, I had recourse to a noble friend who helped me in my extremity and delivered me ...
— The Star-Chamber, Volume 2 - An Historical Romance • W. Harrison Ainsworth

... attacks of devil, Pope and Turks. The noblemen rake and rend, robbing whomever they can, prince or otherwise, and especially the poor Church; like actual devils, they trample under foot pastors and preachers. Townsmen and farmers, too, are extremely avaricious, extortionate and treacherous; they fearlessly perpetrate every sort of insolence and wickedness, and without shame and unpunished. The earth cries to heaven, unable longer to tolerate ...
— Epistle Sermons, Vol. III - Trinity Sunday to Advent • Martin Luther

... "ladies" but flower girls, as she found them more profitable, charged them higher prices for accommodations, whether by the day or week, and as but few places would assume the risk of harboring the waifs, they were compelled to pay her extortionate rates. ...
— Danger! A True History of a Great City's Wiles and Temptations • William Howe

... quantity is small. Still, money is very scarce and bank interest almost extortionate ...
— Winston of the Prairie • Harold Bindloss

... not opposing any protection of the struggling industries of the country, or of the sugar growers, but I was set against the extortionate differential that the sugar trust was demanding. Everybody knew that the trust had built its tremendous industrial power upon such criminally high protection as this differential afforded, and that its power now affected public councils, obtained improper favors, and terrorized the small ...
— Under the Prophet in Utah - The National Menace of a Political Priestcraft • Frank J. Cannon and Harvey J. O'Higgins

... infamous attorney, Perkins, of his means of power over the unhappy family. I determined to pay his legal charges; and William Edgerton, at my request, readily undertook this part of the business. They were found to be extortionate, and far beyond anything either warranted by the practice or the fee bill. Edgerton counselled me to resist the claim; but the subject was too delicate in all its relations, and my own affair with Perkins ...
— Confession • W. Gilmore Simms

... and other States where the miners were paid the most meager wages, and were compelled to return those wages to the coal companies and bear an incubus of debt besides, by being forced to buy all of their goods and merchandise at company stores at extortionate rates. But where the coal companies did the thing boldly and crudely, the Pullman Company surrounded the ...
— History of the Great American Fortunes, Vol. I - Conditions in Settlement and Colonial Times • Myers Gustavus

... retort, contort, distortion, extortionate, torch, (apple) tart, truss, nasturtium; (2) ...
— The Century Vocabulary Builder • Creever & Bachelor

... One extortionate Irish custom, called "coigny," they specially affected, of which it was said "that though it were first invented in hell, yet if it had been used and practised there as it hath been in Ireland, it had long since destroyed ...
— Mediaeval Wales - Chiefly in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries: Six Popular Lectures • A. G. Little

... and happy, and they send loves to you by the bushel. We are in the agonies of house-hunting. The people are frightfully civil, and grotesquely extortionate. One man (with a house to let) told me yesterday that he loved the Duke of Wellington like a brother. The same gentleman wanted to hug me round the neck with one hand, and pick my pocket ...
— The Letters of Charles Dickens - Vol. 1 (of 3), 1833-1856 • Charles Dickens

... said, 'Alas! Alas! you sovereign of Shang, That you should have such violently oppressive ministers, That you should have such extortionate exactors, That you should have them in offices, That you should have them in the conduct of affairs! "Heaven made them with their insolent dispositions;" But it is you who employ ...
— The Shih King • James Legge

... Ross whispered to me that Colonel Hunt might be induced to sell, my ears cocked themselves instantly. He wished an extortionate price, the doctor thought, and I heard nothing further for some time. When indisposed in London in the autumn of 1902, my mind ran upon the subject, and I intended to wire Dr. Ross to come up and see me. One morning, Mrs. Carnegie ...
— Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie • Andrew Carnegie

... accordingly the producers constitute a strong enough combination to control the supply blade, they will possess an unusual power of advancing their selling prices as they choose. I am far from suggesting that Messrs. J. & P. Coats are to be condemned as an extortionate monopoly. On the contrary, during 1919, when the profits in highly competitive industries like the main branches of the cotton and woollen trades, soared exuberantly, the record of this concern seems to me one of distinct moderation. But the present point ...
— Supply and Demand • Hubert D. Henderson

... of this king to raise money seems to have been limited to about L8000 a month.[107] Out of this he offered a part to Cicero as the Proconsul who was immediately over him. This Cicero declined, but pressed the king to pay the money to the extortionate Brutus, who was a creditor, and who endeavored to get this money through Cicero. But Pompey also was a creditor, and Pompey's name was more dreadful to the king than that of Brutus. Pompey, therefore, got it ...
— The Life of Cicero - Volume II. • Anthony Trollope

... of his preliminary assent, proved extortionate to George in this matter; and exacted heavy sums for the actual possession of Oppeln and Ratibor. George, going so zealously ahead in Protestant affairs, grew less and less a favorite with Kaisers. But so, at any rate, on peaceable unquestionable grounds, grounds valid as Imperial Law and ...
— History Of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. III. (of XXI.) - Frederick The Great—The Hohenzollerns In Brandenburg—1412-1718 • Thomas Carlyle

... their homes too well, and they further dread the inconveniences and dangers attached to travel in many other parts of the world. Boatmen, carters, and innkeepers have all of them bad reputations for extortionate charges; and the traveller may sometimes happen upon a "black inn," which is another name for a den of thieves. Still there have been many who travelled for the sake of beautiful scenery, or in order to visit famous spots of historical interest; not to mention the large body of officials who are ...
— The Civilization Of China • Herbert A. Giles

... outsiders who were willing to expend their energies in the business. Gradually, however, they agreed to admit foreigners on terms which on the surface were fairly liberal, and became indirectly almost extortionate. ...
— South Africa and the Transvaal War, Vol. 1 (of 6) - From the Foundation of Cape Colony to the Boer Ultimatum - of 9th Oct. 1899 • Louis Creswicke

... SPENCER ST. JOHN, writing in 1856, gives, in his "Life in the Forests of the Far East," several instances of the grievous oppression practiced on the Limbang people. Amongst others he mentions how a native, in a fit of desperation, had killed an extortionate tax-gatherer. Instead of having the offender arrested and punished, the Sultan ordered his village to be attacked, when fifty persons were killed and an equal number of women and children were made prisoners and kept as slaves by His Highness. The immediate cause of the ...
— British Borneo - Sketches of Brunai, Sarawak, Labuan, and North Borneo • W. H. Treacher

... that followed forced the property owner, who had refused fifteen hundred dollars, to take nine hundred dollars. President Moore was tempted to pay the fifteen hundred dollars, but he decided that this course would only encourage other property owners to be extortionate. Some trouble was experienced with the Vanderbilt properties, part of which happened to be under water. After considerable negotiating and appeals to the public spirit of the owners, it was adjusted. About seven hundred thousand ...
— The City of Domes • John D. Barry

... remember this. Count Giraldi is the Chief Minister of this Government, and this Government is your host. Count Giraldi is therefore major-domo. Keep in with him, my dear sir, by all means, unless you desire (a) your conge, or (b) an extortionate bill for breakages and arrears. I need only mention the name of the Marchese Semifonte—no ...
— The Fool Errant • Maurice Hewlett

... entered into details, and completed an officious little conspiracy; and the upshot of it was that Mrs. Mack, whenever M. M. fixed a day for her next extortionate visit, was to apprise the doctor, who was to keep in the way; and, when she arrived, the good lady was just to send across to him for some 'peppermint drops,' upon which hint Toole himself would come slily over, and place himself behind the arras in the ...
— The House by the Church-Yard • J. Sheridan Le Fanu

... Remarked so to the Dean, who replied (nastily, I think), "Oh, it's for the interest of the Church not to have paupers for Prelates." I retorted at once, rather ably, that "I could not conceive a better plan for bringing Prelates to pauperism than the exaction of extortionate fees at Installation." Dean replied, sneeringly, "Oh, if you don't value the honour, I suppose there's still time for you to resign." Resign, yes; but should I get back my five or ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 100, 13 June 1891 • Various

... captain was to receive the sum of 97,740 francs within ten days of their arrival at Rio. By the acceptance of these truly extortionate conditions a bargain, which had cost much ...
— Celebrated Travels and Travellers - Part III. The Great Explorers of the Nineteenth Century • Jules Verne

... and Garter, in that dim dewy hour, when the willow shadowed Thames is as a southern lake, and the slow dip of the oars is in itself a kind of melody. Had he been much abroad? Yes, and he gloried in the Continent; the dear old inconvenient inns, and the extortionate landlords, and the insatiable commissionaires—he revelled in the commissionaires; and the dear drowsy slow trains, with an absurd guard, who talks an unintelligible patois, and the other man, who always loses one's luggage! ...
— Henry Dunbar - A Novel • M. E. Braddon

... this—but I discerned it was all owing to our own inexperience, and put an end to the contention, by telling the man to take us to Norfolk Street in the Strand, which was the direction we had got. But when we got to the door, the coachman was so extortionate, that another hobbleshaw arose. Mrs. Pringle had been told that, in such disputes, the best way of getting redress was to take the number of the coach; but, in trying to do so, we found it fastened on, and ...
— The Ayrshire Legatees • John Galt

... assistance to reach Cooperstown, some five miles away. The two put the broken wagon on the sleigh, and leading the disengaged horse, drove on to Jordan's home. No bargain had been made, and when, at the journey's end, Jordan inquired what he should pay, the sharp farmer named a most extortionate sum. Jordan then declared that the pay demanded was three times as much as the service was worth; yet rather than have any hard feeling about the matter he would pay double price: but more he would not pay. The offer was refused, and ...
— The Story of Cooperstown • Ralph Birdsall

... another in New York—a distance of about a quarter of a mile—I thought with glee "Now the famous express system will save me all trouble." But I found that it would cost two dollars to express my belongings, whereas even the notoriously extortionate New York cabman would convey me and all my goods and chattels for half that sum. So the Express Company's loss was ...
— America To-day, Observations and Reflections • William Archer

... Newfoundlanders had more right to expect that Lord Palmerston would maintain this principle in their defence than the extortionate Portuguese Jew or the Chinese pirates who were taken ...
— Newfoundland and the Jingoes - An Appeal to England's Honor • John Fretwell

... had prevailed. The ranches had been seized in the tentacles of the octopus; the iniquitous burden of extortionate freight rates had been imposed like a yoke of iron. The monster had killed Harran, had killed Osterman, had killed Broderson, had killed Hooven. It had beggared Magnus and had driven him to a state of semi-insanity after he had wrecked his honour ...
— The Octopus • Frank Norris

... her old quest, seeking in all directions for some less extortionate purveyor. But none was to be found. The selfishness and secretiveness of the drug slave made it difficult for her to learn on what terms others obtained Kazmah's precious goods; but although his prices undoubtedly varied, she was convinced ...
— Dope • Sax Rohmer

... extortionate. Unlike Niagara, its prices are not exorbitant. Most people like to drive a fast horse, and they can do so very reasonably here. A nice single team can be obtained a whole afternoon for only $3, and a nobby carriage and coachman will carry a party to the Lake and ...
— Saratoga and How to See It • R. F. Dearborn

... managed to be the gainer by his course. Now, however, when new difficulties threatened, all the leading managers in New York were members of the 'Managers' Association,' and as we all submitted to the arbitrary and extortionate demands of the Herald, Bennett thought he had but to crack his whip, in order to keep all and any of us within the traces. Accordingly one day Bennett's attorney wrote me a letter, saying that he would like to have me call ...
— A Unique Story of a Marvellous Career. Life of Hon. Phineas T. • Joel Benton

... Allies for a certain consideration. This consideration was that she receive Bukowina, part of the province of Banat, and certain sections of Bessarabia populated by Rumanians, The Allies considered these demands extortionate, and the negotiations were protracted. When the Austrians and Germans, later in the spring, succeeded in driving the Russians out of the Carpathians, Rumania hastily dropped these negotiations and seated herself more firmly on top of the fence. And so, under the guidance of Bratiano, her ...
— The Story of the Great War, Volume V (of 12) - Neuve Chapelle, Battle of Ypres, Przemysl, Mazurian Lakes • Francis J. Reynolds, Allen L. Churchill, and Francis Trevelyan

... at the Cape was made by a Company of Amsterdam merchants for the refreshment and refitting of their ships engaged in trade with the East. The Company was a harsh and extortionate master, who paid little attention to the needs and the welfare of the settlement, which was regarded merely as a place of call. The discontented colonists began to leave the seacoast and trekked inwards, where the heavy hands ...
— A Handbook of the Boer War • Gale and Polden, Limited

... more tragic ending. The local officials owed their selection to the governor and the council whom he appointed. Thus power was all concentrated in the official "ring" of the lowland area. The men of the interior resented the extortionate fees and the poll tax, which bore with unequal weight upon the poor settlers of the back country. This tax had been continued after sufficient funds had been collected to extinguish the debt for which it was originally levied, ...
— The Frontier in American History • Frederick Jackson Turner

... squadron, had arrived safely at Rio Janeiro. Of the sad fate of the Wager, and the loss of the larger number of her officers and crew, he did not receive intelligence till his return home. He was annoyed by the extortionate demands made by the Chinese carpenters for the necessary repairs of the ship, while he had considerable difficulty at times, in consequence of the behaviour of the Chinese authorities, ...
— Notable Voyagers - From Columbus to Nordenskiold • W.H.G. Kingston and Henry Frith

... everything, and the town nothing. The extortionate hotel-keepers, the "snub-nosed rogues of counter and till," who overcharge you in the shops, make their egregious profits from the Kursaal. The major part of the Landgrave's revenue is derived from the Kursaal; he draws L5000 a year from it. He and his house are sold to the Kursaal; ...
— The Gaming Table: Its Votaries and Victims - Volume I (of II) • Andrew Steinmetz

... nothing extortionate in his dealings, nothing wrong in them. When things were going well, then all was well; but when the natives resisted his charges and taxes, defrauding him of his bonus and lowering him in the eyes of his superiors, then Meeus ...
— The Pools of Silence • H. de Vere Stacpoole

... myself, he was not pointedly impertinent: it was rather as though he could not be bothered with such trifles as my existence; and the truth is that being a monopolist he was under no necessity to be amiable. He was sure to get his own extortionate terms out of me for towage whether he frowned or smiled. As a matter of fact, he did neither: but before many days elapsed he managed to astonish me not a little and to set Schomberg's tongue clacking more ...
— Falk • Joseph Conrad

... charging extortionate rates for passengers or freight; to see that reasonable facilities are provided, such as depots, side tracks to warehouses, cars for transporting grain, etc.; to prevent discrimination for or against any person or corporation needing ...
— Studies in Civics • James T. McCleary

... of the physically unfit houses. The league conducted a campaign to educate the masses in regard to housing, and payment of exorbitant rents was discouraged. The various city departments were asked to enforce ordinances in negro neighborhoods. In this way the league tried to reduce overcrowding and extortionate rentals. ...
— Negro Migration during the War • Emmett J. Scott



Words linked to "Extortionate" :   steep, exorbitant, outrageous, immoderate



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