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

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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 Second, persuasion should not be the goal but change of the circumstance that led to their faulty beliefs. Tanya Lewis, Scientific American, "The ‘Shared Psychosis’ of Donald Trump and His Loyalists," 11 Jan. 2021 Taken together, this has created a state that’s nearing 50-50 parity and fostered a style of politics in which mobilization takes precedence over persuasion, because the bright lines between party and region have left few Georgians up for grabs. New York Times, "Georgia Is Getting More Blue. The Senate Races Will Tell How Much.," 3 Jan. 2021 Patients will tailor their decisions to their own circumstances and preferences anyway, and paternalistic persuasion can backfire by leading people to stay away from the doctor’s office. Robert M. Kaplan And Dominick L. Frosch, WSJ, "Honesty Is the Best Policy in Selling Vaccines," 28 Dec. 2020 In a fiercely individualistic society, where people have little trust in either government or each other, the pandemic has from the beginning been a mass social experiment in the limits of scientific persuasion. Washington Post, "The coronavirus has come roaring back into Brazil, shattering illusions it wouldn’t," 4 Dec. 2020 But denim has never belonged to just one political persuasion. Brandon Tensley, Smithsonian Magazine, "How Denim Became a Political Symbol of the 1960s," 17 Nov. 2020 In interviews conducted around the nation, one sentiment prevailed regardless of political persuasion: A fierce determination to be heard. Alan Gomez, USA TODAY, "Black, Latino Americans flock to polls amid deadly, difficult year for brown and Black people," 3 Nov. 2020 An example of an unframed threat is a terrorist attack, which instills fear regardless of political persuasion. Kathryn Watson, CBS News, "Incumbent Trump banks on fear and anxiety to motivate voters," 29 Sep. 2020 There is no evidence that Trump has ever sought the company of intellectuals or taken any advice even from those of a conservative persuasion. Bruce Bartlett, The New Republic, "He Is Even Dumber Than We Thought," 8 June 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.

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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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Time Traveler for persuasion

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for persuasion

Last Updated

18 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Persuasion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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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

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