per·sua·sion | \pər-ˈswā-zhən \

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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web

Perhaps the lesson from the incident is not the value of immediate persuasion, but the need to encourage the appreciation and embrace of civility. Blake D. Morant, The Atlantic, "In Praise of Civility," 24 May 2018 Bridges narrates the movie, which displays his folksy knack for mixing explanation with persuasion. Gary Thompson,, "Jeff Bridges talks about the Dude, the planet, and whatever else crosses his mind," 29 Mar. 2018 But after them, perhaps thanks to Lee’s erudition, her diplomacy with competing cultural factions, and her powers of persuasion, the votes are more or less foregone. Virginia Heffernan, WIRED, "The Delicate Art of Creating New Emoji," 28 June 2018 Politics is the art of persuasion, and the people who make long-term gains in politics are the people who do a better job of persuading others that their views are right. Fox News, "Democrats call out Maxine Waters for encouraging incivility," 26 June 2018 However, Republican voters also are showing up in higher numbers than in previous midterm cycles, a sign that the GOP's fate will be sealed not by apathetic conservatives who sit out Election Day, but by voters open to persuasion from both parties. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "A defining debate for Florida politics," 28 June 2018 There’s a laziness to his polemic: a lack of examples, arguments that unfold much too quickly to gather their full powers of persuasion, writing that chokes on excessive metaphor. New York Times, "Click ‘Delete’ to Save Your Soul," 13 June 2018 Over time, the exhalations of these tech C.E.O.s became less about the actual lie, and more about who could deliver it with the utmost persuasion. Nick Bilton, The Hive, "“She Absolutely Has Sociopathic Tendencies”: Elizabeth Holmes, Somehow, Is Trying to Start a New Company!," 8 June 2018 Overnight, his focus shifted from persuasion to survival. Neil Swidey,, "How Democrats would be better off if Bill Clinton had never been president," 10 July 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.

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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

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Last Updated

13 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for persuasion

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

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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

: a particular type of belief or way of thinking


per·sua·sion | \pər-ˈswā-zhən \

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 \

Medical Definition of persuasion 

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

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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).


to reject or criticize sharply

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