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Kenny同志

the word "seduce"

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Kenny同志

The Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English says “seduce” means “to persuade someone to have sex with you, especially in a way that is attractive and not direct.

I have two questions:

a. Must it be sex that is implied? I mean, for example, can I use the word when a woman entices a man and has intimate physical contact with him but no intercourse?

b. Must the woman say something to seduce the man? To me, it’s impossible to persuade someone without saying anything. Or put the question in another way, can I use the word if a woman makes eyes at a man?

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li3wei1

a) no, penetration is not required. See Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky

b) no. There are many ways women can seduce men without speaking, and even a few techniques going the other direction too. As for making eyes, if it works, then yes, she's seducing him. If it doesn't, she's looking at him 'seductively', but you can't really say she's seducing him if he's ignoring her.

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fanglu

Also, it can be used as a metaphor, as in 'He was seduced by fame and fortune.'

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anonymoose
a. Must it be having sex that the word is implied? I mean, for example, can I use it when a woman entices a man and has intimate physical contact with him but no intercourse?

I guess that in 99% of cases, sex would be implied.

b. Must the woman say something to seduce the man? To me, it’s impossible to persuade someone without saying something. Or put the question in another way, can I use the word if a woman makes eyes at a man?

It's probably quite difficult for a man to seduce a woman without saying anything, but I think the other way round is quite easy.

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li3wei1

I think in 'the old days', i.e. Austen and Bronte, it could be used to mean forceful sexual advance, though it's usually hard to tell because they're talking about things that have happened behind closed doors and everyone's coy about it, but from the situation it sounds like what they're talking about is the male forcefully removing the female's clothing etc.

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liuzhou
I think in 'the old days', i.e. Austen and Bronte, it could be used to mean forceful sexual advance

According to the OED (Oxford English Dictionary), which is particularly strong on historical usage, the original meaning was

To persuade (a vassal, servant, soldier, etc.) to desert his allegiance or service. (1477)

By 1519, this had expanded to a wider sense:

To lead (a person) astray in conduct or belief; to draw away from the right or intended course of action to or into a wrong one; to tempt, entice, or beguile to do something wrong, foolish, or unintended.

By 1560, we get to:

To induce (a woman) to surrender her chastity.

By 1748 we get the more general metaphoric sense

To win by charm or attractiveness.

There is no mention of forced sexual advance.

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imron

According to Obi-wan Kenobi, Darth Vader was

.

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