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14th century. From Middle English suasion, from Latin suāsiō (counselling, advice, persuasion), from Latin suādeō (I urge, exhort; I suade, persuade), from Proto-Italic *swādēō (to recommend; to advise), from Proto-Indo-European *swoh₂déye-, from *sweh₂d- (sweet). Cognate with English suave (charming, confident and elegant), Italian suadere (to persuade) and Spanish suadir (to persuade).


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suasion (countable and uncountable, plural suasions)

  1. The act of urging or influencing; persuasion.
    • 1977, Stephen R. Donaldson, The Illearth War, page 75:
      The high intricate ways of the Keep had a strange power of suasion, an ability to carry conviction.
    • 1982, Jacob Kipp, "Review of The Royal Navy and the Siege of Bilbao by James Cable," Military Affairs, vol. 46, no. 4, page 217:
      James Cable, the author of Gunboat Diplomacy (Chatto & Windus, 1971), has created an excellent case study of naval presence and suasion during the era of appeasement.

Usage notes[edit]

  • "Persuasion" is much more commonly used than "suasion".
  • "Persuasion" ordinarily refers to exhortation by means of argumentation or reasoned discourse. "Suasion" may have this sense, but it is not uncommon for "suasion" to refer to the exercise of influence by other means.


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Related terms[edit]


  • suasion at OneLook Dictionary Search