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 Preventing in-person social activity, though, especially among young people, is a matter of persuasion. Zeynep Tufekci, The Atlantic, "Keep the Parks Open," 7 Apr. 2020 Instead of wasting time trying to find a solution everyone agrees with, use your powers of persuasion to motivate them to implement the decision. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "Honeywell’s ex-CEO successfully navigated the Great Recession. Here’s how he’s approaching the coronavirus crisis," 27 Mar. 2020 Because the research shows that the best form of persuasion is one-on-one, person-to-person. Gilbert Garcia,, "Garcia: Candidates campaign in a bubble during coronavirus outbreak," 18 Mar. 2020 As this column forecasted, because Democrats refused to take up the patient work of persuasion and instead bludgeoned and insulted the jury, the process will cost Democrats among independent voters. Karl Rove, WSJ, "Hey Democrats, Ya Got Trouble," 5 Feb. 2020 And as writers, journalists, and even television personalities who have created narrative podcasts have discovered, the format also offers unique powers of persuasion. Hugh Eakin, Harper's magazine, "Selective Hearing," 19 Jan. 2020 Rather, his way was to rely on the sheer persuasion of song and personality. Los Angeles Times, "Appreciation: Remembering Lynn Harrell, the singing cellist," 1 May 2020 At least three alumni became prominent conservatives, of the classical-liberal persuasion: Ronald Radosh, Elliott Abrams, and Abby Thernstrom. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, "Biden accused, &c.," 1 May 2020 In hindsight, party officials might have simply sought the best technology vendor, regardless of the political persuasion of its existing customers. James Freeman, WSJ, "Iowa Voters Younger, More Diverse Than Leading Democratic Candidates," 4 Feb. 2020

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

Time Traveler for persuasion

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for persuasion

Last Updated

25 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Persuasion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jun. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for persuasion


How to pronounce persuasion (audio)

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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

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!