per·​sua·​sion | \ pər-ˈswā-zhən How to pronounce persuasion (audio) \

Definition of persuasion

1a : the act or process or an instance of persuading
b : a persuading argument
c : the ability to persuade : persuasiveness
2 : the condition of being persuaded
3a : an opinion held with complete assurance
b : a system of religious beliefs also : a group adhering to a particular system of beliefs
4 : kind, sort

Keep scrolling for more

Choose the Right Synonym for persuasion

opinion, view, belief, conviction, persuasion, sentiment mean a judgment one holds as true. opinion implies a conclusion thought out yet open to dispute. each expert seemed to have a different opinion view suggests a subjective opinion. very assertive in stating his views belief implies often deliberate acceptance and intellectual assent. a firm belief in her party's platform conviction applies to a firmly and seriously held belief. the conviction that animal life is as sacred as human persuasion suggests a belief grounded on assurance (as by evidence) of its truth. was of the persuasion that everything changes sentiment suggests a settled opinion reflective of one's feelings. her feminist sentiments are well-known

Examples of persuasion in a Sentence

It would take a lot of persuasion to get him to agree to such an offer. Most kids don't need much persuasion to use computers. people of all different persuasions
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Historians say Douglass' pre-Emancipation diatribe — more than 9,800 words in length — is a masterpiece of persuasion. Dallas News, "Frederick Douglass speech raises question: Should African-Americans celebrate the Fourth of July?," 2 July 2019 Facebook’s ad library — a year-old concession to critics expanded further this spring — has raised the curtain on what once had been a secret world of persuasion. Bill Lambrecht,, "2020 campaigns spend heavily on Facebook ads, despite scandals of 2016," 2 July 2019 An encouraging sign for those of the dovish persuasion would have been the absence of Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, a hawk who decades prior worked to sabotage earlier diplomatic rounds with Pyongyang. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, "Trump’s reality show takes over U.S. foreign policy," 1 July 2019 Use your powers of persuasion to explain the reason that confidentiality is necessary. Tribune Content Agency,, "Horoscope for June 18, 2019: Happy birthday to actress Kim Dickens; Libra, help others by staying calm," 18 June 2019 Over 66 lectures, this course will teach you how to use common persuasion tactics, stir up emotion in your reader, utilize common copywriting formulas, and more. Popular Mechanics, "How to Get a Great Job in 2019 with These 5 Skills," 14 Jan. 2019 Suleiman actually unseats one leader of his area’s dominant Islamic militant faction by using that reliable means of persuasion, cash. John Anderson, WSJ, "‘Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan’ Review: A Hero Enters the Present," 30 Aug. 2018 There’s peacocking, and then there’s peacocking of the Elizabeth Taylor persuasion. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "The Best Old Hollywood Movies to Inspire a Legendary Holiday Beauty Look," 15 Dec. 2018 One of the seductive appeals of the originalist persuasion was the claim to derive its judicial insights from the founders, who allegedly enjoyed privileged access to eternal truths. Joseph J. Ellis, WSJ, "Stop Pretending the Supreme Court Is Above Politics," 13 Sep. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of persuasion

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for persuasion

Middle English persuasioun, from Middle French or Latin; Middle French persuasion, from Latin persuasion-, persuasio, from persuadēre

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about persuasion

Statistics for persuasion

Last Updated

7 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for persuasion

The first known use of persuasion was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for persuasion



English Language Learners Definition of persuasion

: the act of causing people to do or believe something : the act or activity of persuading people
formal : a particular type of belief or way of thinking


per·​sua·​sion | \ pər-ˈswā-zhən How to pronounce persuasion (audio) \

Kids Definition of persuasion

1 : the act of convincing
2 : the power to convince
3 : a way of believing : belief He and his wife are of the same persuasion.


per·​sua·​sion | \ pər-ˈswā-zhən How to pronounce persuasion (audio) \

Medical Definition of persuasion

: a method of treating neuroses consisting essentially in rational conversation and reeducation

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on persuasion

What made you want to look up persuasion? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


food or victuals

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!