[ 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
Related formsco·a·li·tion·al, adjectiveco·a·li·tion·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples 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 Formscoalitional, 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

Word Origin and History for coalition



1610s, "the growing together of parts," from French coalition (1540s), from Late Latin coalitus "fellowship," originally past participle of Latin coalescere (see coalesce). First used in a political sense 1715.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for coalition


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


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.