[koh-ur-shuh n]


the act of coercing; use of force or intimidation to obtain compliance.
force or the power to use force in gaining compliance, as by a government or police force.

Origin of coercion

1515–25; < Medieval Latin coerciōn- (stem of coerciō), Latin coerctiōn-, syncopated variant of coercitiōn-, equivalent to coercit(us) (past participle of coercēre to coerce) + -iōn- -ion; replacing late Middle English cohercion < Middle French < Latin as above
Related formsco·er·cion·ar·y, adjectiveco·er·cion·ist, nounnon·co·er·cion, nounpro·co·er·cion, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for coercion

Contemporary Examples of coercion

Historical Examples of coercion

  • The policy of the opposition was coercion, while that of the government was autonomy.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • Coercion first annihilates the understanding of its victim, and then of him who adopts it.

  • "It was a bargain of coercion, Monsieur," she answered attempting to brazen it out.

  • I wouldn't be surprised if he wouldn't bring in a coercion bill at any minute.

    Ireland as It Is

    Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)

  • I told you the means of coercion in my power, and pledged myself to use them.

    Roland Cashel

    Charles James Lever

British Dictionary definitions for coercion



the act or power of coercing
government by force
Derived Formscoercionist, nouncoercive (kəʊˈɜːsɪv), adjectivecoercively, adverbcoerciveness, noun
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 coercion

early 15c., from Old French cohercion (Modern French coercion), from Medieval Latin coercionem, from Latin coerctionem, earlier coercitionem, noun of action from past participle stem of coercere (see coerce).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper