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13 Essential Literary Terms

persuasion

[per-swey-zhuh n] /pərˈsweɪ ʒən/
noun
1.
the act of persuading or seeking to persuade.
2.
the power of persuading; persuasive force.
3.
the state or fact of being persuaded or convinced.
4.
a deep conviction or belief.
5.
a form or system of belief, especially religious belief:
the Quaker persuasion.
6.
a sect, group, or faction holding or advocating a particular belief, idea, ideology, etc.:
Several of the people present are of the socialist persuasion.
7.
Facetious. kind or sort.
Origin
late Middle English
1350-1400
1350-1400; late Middle English < Latin persuāsiōn- (stem of persuāsiō; see per-, suasion); replacing Middle English persuacioun < Middle French persuacion < Latin, as above
Related forms
prepersuasion, noun
self-persuasion, noun
Synonyms
1. See advice.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for prepersuasion

persuasion

/pəˈsweɪʒən/
noun
1.
the act of persuading or of trying to persuade
2.
the power to persuade
3.
the state of being persuaded; strong belief
4.
an established creed or belief, esp a religious one
5.
a sect, party, or faction
Word Origin
C14: from Latin persuāsiō; see persuade
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for prepersuasion

persuasion

n.

late 14c., "action of inducing (someone) to believe (something); argument to persuade, inducement," from Old French persuasion (14c.) and directly from Latin persuasionem (nominative persuasio) "a convincing, persuading," noun of action from past participle stem of persuadere "persuade, convince," from per- "thoroughly, strongly" (see per) + suadere "to urge, persuade," from PIE *swad- "sweet, pleasant" (see sweet (adj.)). Meaning "religious belief, creed" is from 1620s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for prepersuasion

persuasion

the process by which a person's attitudes or behaviour are, without duress, influenced by communications from other people. One's attitudes and behaviour are also affected by other factors (for example, verbal threats, physical coercion, one's physiological states). Not all communication is intended to be persuasive; other purposes include informing or entertaining. Persuasion often involves manipulating people, and for this reason many find the exercise distasteful. Others might argue that, without some degree of social control and mutual accommodation such as that obtained through persuasion, the human community becomes disordered. In this way, persuasion gains moral acceptability when the alternatives are considered. To paraphrase Winston Churchill's evaluation of democracy as a form of government, persuasion is the worst method of social control-except for all the others

Learn more about persuasion with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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