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Bribery and manipulation - thesaurus

Related words

be on the take

someone in an official position who is on the take is accepting bribes (=money in return for doing something wrong)



to use threats to persuade a person or government to do what you want



to give money or presents to someone so that they will help you by doing something dishonest or illegal



to promise something to someone, especially a child, if they will agree to do what you want



informal to give someone something so that they will do something dishonest for you

buy off

to pay someone to stop threatening you or blackmailing you

cosy up to

to try to become friendly with someone in order to get some benefit for yourself



to develop a friendship or relationship with someone, usually in order to get an advantage from it

everyone has their price

used for saying that people will do anything if they are paid enough money or given what they want



to praise someone in order to get something that you want, especially in a way that is not sincere

flutter your eyelashes at someone

if a woman flutters her eyelashes at a man, she tries to make him think she is attractive by looking at him in a special way

hold someone to ransom

to try to make someone do what you want, especially by using threats

in the pay of someone

working for someone, especially doing something secret and dishonest

keep in with

to stay friendly with someone, especially someone who can help you

know which side your bread is buttered (on)

to know who to be nice to or what to do in order to gain advantages for yourself

make up to

informal old-fashioned to behave in a very friendly way towards someone, or to praise them, in order to get something for yourself



to influence someone, or to control something, in a clever or dishonest way



to get something that you want by using a clever or dishonest plan



Britishvery informal to threaten someone or to pay them money in order to make them do something

pay off

to give someone money so that they will do something bad or dishonest for you

pay off

to give someone money so that they will not do something that will cause you problems, especially by telling people about something bad that you have done

play both ends against the middle

to make two people or groups oppose each other so that you can gain something

play good cop/bad cop

informal if two people play good cop/bad cop with someone, one is friendly while the other behaves in a threatening way in order to make the person trust the ‘good cop’ and tell them the information they want to know

play off against

if you play two people off against each other, you try to cause an argument between them because you think that this will give you more power or control in a situation

play on

to use a situation or emotions such as fear or worry in order to get what you want

play the...card

to use a particular quality, argument etc in order to gain an advantage

play the system

to know how to use the rules of a system in order to get an advantage for yourself

play to the gallery

to say what you think people want to hear in order to gain popularity

play up to

to behave in a very friendly or polite way to someone because you want them to like you or to do something for you



informal to talk with someone in a friendly and informal way, often with the intention of gaining an advantage or of persuading them to do something that you want



British the use of sad or frightening events or figures to draw attention to issues or to get a political advantage



to give information or ideas in a way that gives more attention or support to a particular person, group, or opinion

soften up

to make someone more likely to do what you want by being nice to them



informal to be nice to someone when you want them to do something for you

sweeten up

to be especially nice to someone so that they will agree to something that you want them to agree to



informal to talk to someone in a very nice way in order to persuade them to do something



to change the intended meaning of something slightly so that it means what you want it to mean

work the system

to do or get what you want despite the rules that make it difficult



to manipulate someone psychologically so that they begin to question their own perceptions and memories

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

Dunning-Kruger effect

the phenomenon by which an incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence

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