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

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 In politics, communicating meaning is essential to persuasion, to the building of coalitions, and to the defeat of error and wickedness. Dan Mclaughlin, National Review, 15 Nov. 2021 His main power is a super-ability to psychically stimulate the pleasure center of the brain, making those around him susceptible to persuasion and helping to alleviate conflicts. Richard Newby, Vulture, 8 Nov. 2021 Promoting the idea of freedom for vaccinated people could be one effective way to encourage more vaccinations, particularly among those who are open to persuasion and still making up their minds, officials say. New York Times, 9 May 2021 Democrats also pointed to GOP success at turning out Trump-leaning voters, in addition to persuasion. Time, 15 Mar. 2021 Views are so firmly entrenched that the pool of voters open to persuasion has nearly evaporated. Susan Page, USA TODAY, 22 Oct. 2020 Calling people liars and comparing them to tobacco executives is not exactly a textbook example of an effective means of persuasion. David Blackmon, Forbes, 29 Oct. 2021 But with mass vaccine sites largely shuttered, the burden of persuasion has fallen increasingly to primary care providers. New York Times, 11 Oct. 2021 The success and growth of the Human Library confirms the findings of a groundbreaking political persuasion study on how personal narratives can be used to help shift someone’s beliefs. Susan Harmeling, Forbes, 13 Oct. 2021

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

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

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Last Updated

26 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Persuasion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2021.

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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 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

More from Merriam-Webster on persuasion

Nglish: Translation of persuasion for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of persuasion for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about persuasion


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