[ koh-uh-lish-uhn ]
/ ˌkoʊ əˈlɪʃ ən /


a combination or alliance, especially a temporary one between persons, factions, states, etc.
a union into one body or mass; fusion.

Origin of coalition

1605–15; < Latin coalitiōn- (stem of coalitiō), equivalent to coalit(us), past participle of coalēscere (co- co- + ali-, past participle stem of alere to nourish + -tus past participle suffix) + -iōn- -ion; see coalesce


co·a·li·tion·al, adjectiveco·a·li·tion·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for coalition

British Dictionary definitions for coalition

/ (ˌkəʊəˈlɪʃən) /


  1. an alliance or union between groups, factions, or parties, esp for some temporary and specific reason
  2. (as modifier)a coalition government
a fusion or merging into one body or mass

Derived forms of coalition

coalitional, adjectivecoalitionist or coalitioner, noun

Word Origin for coalition

C17: from Medieval Latin coalitiō, from Latin coalēscere to coalesce
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Cultural definitions for coalition


An alliance of political groups formed to oppose a common foe or pursue a common goal.

notes for coalition

In countries with many political parties, none of which can get a majority of the citizens' votes, the only way an effective government can be formed is by a coalition of parties. Such coalitions are often unstable.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.