• synonyms


[per-swey-siv, -ziv]
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  1. able, fitted, or intended to persuade: a very persuasive argument.
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  1. something that persuades; inducement.
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Origin of persuasive

First recorded in 1580–90, persuasive is from the Medieval Latin word persuāsīvus. See persuasible, -ive
Related formsper·sua·sive·ly, adverbper·sua·sive·ness, nounnon·per·sua·sive, adjectivenon·per·sua·sive·ly, adverbnon·per·sua·sive·ness, nounpre·per·sua·sive, adjectiveun·per·sua·sive, adjectiveun·per·sua·sive·ly, adverbun·per·sua·sive·ness, noun


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for persuasive

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Persuasive is the voice of Vice, That spreads the insidious snare.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • "Don't you come now, dear," she advised him, in that persuasive voice of hers.

    Meadow Grass

    Alice Brown

  • "The only pattern of exactly its sort and color," said the persuasive voice of Pat.

  • What makes these patients so persuasive is the fact that they are themselves persuaded.

  • He was dignified and suave and gracious, also persuasive when he chose to be.

    Thankful's Inheritance

    Joseph C. Lincoln

British Dictionary definitions for persuasive


  1. having the power or ability to persuade; tending to persuadea persuasive salesman
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Derived Formspersuasively, adverbpersuasiveness, 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 persuasive


1580s, from Middle French persuasif, from Medieval Latin persuasivus, from Latin persuas-, past participle stem of persuadere "persuade, convince" (see persuasion). Related: Persuasively; persuasiveness. Replaced earlier persuasible in this sense (see persuadable).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper