co·​er·​cion | \ kō-ˈər-zhən How to pronounce coercion (audio) , -shən \

Definition of coercion

: the act, process, or power of coercing They used coercion to obtain the confession.

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Examples of coercion in a Sentence

a promise obtained by coercion is never binding
Recent Examples on the Web Physical coercion, including by local authorities, has been a powerful complement to technical censorship measures. Justin Sherman, Wired, "Covid Is Accelerating a Global Censorship Crisis," 30 Aug. 2020 And gig workers, whose work is precarious by nature, are some of the most vulnerable to this kind of coercion. Michelle Cheng, Quartz, "Postmates is hiring regional organizers to fight employee status," 28 Aug. 2020 On top of that, none of these innovations can tackle the nuances of coercion and manipulation that characterise long-term partner abuse. Jenn Selby,, "Rape Prevention Tech Won’t Stop Sexual Assault," 27 Aug. 2020 During a gathering at the Ohio state capitol last year, Ms. Al-Hayani’s students performed a skit demonstrating how predators use coercion, force, and fraud to lure vulnerable young people. Areeba Shah, The Christian Science Monitor, "How one teacher equips students to stop trafficking before it starts," 24 Aug. 2020 There are other warning signs that electoral coercion remains a threat in the U.S. James Johnson, The Conversation, "Voting by mail is convenient, but not always secret," 24 Aug. 2020 Brewer was sentenced to three years probation for felony coercion. oregonlive, "Marco Brewer, ex-UCLA commit who pleaded guilty to felony coercion, appears bound for Oregon State football," 19 Aug. 2020 He's been charged with assault in the second degree, coercion, and riot. Haley Victory Smith, Washington Examiner, "Portland police arrest 25-year-old accused of attacking pickup truck driver," 21 Aug. 2020 This can take many forms, including coercion, humiliation, threats, insults, gaslighting, guilting, rage, and shaming. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "If You Recognize These Emotional Abuse Signs in Your Relationship, It's Time to Get Help," 1 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'coercion.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of coercion

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for coercion

Middle English cohercion, borrowed from Anglo-French cohercioun, borrowed from Late Latin coerctiōn-, coerctiō, by-form of Latin coercitiōn-, coercitiō, from coerci-, variant stem of coercēre "to coerce" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action

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Time Traveler for coercion

Time Traveler

The first known use of coercion was in the 15th century

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Statistics for coercion

Last Updated

8 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Coercion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for coercion


co·​er·​cion | \ kō-ˈər-zhən, -shən How to pronounce coercion (audio) \

Legal Definition of coercion

: the use of express or implied threats of violence or reprisal (as discharge from employment) or other intimidating behavior that puts a person in immediate fear of the consequences in order to compel that person to act against his or her will also : the defense that one acted under coercion — see also defense, duress — compare undue influence

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