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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Of course, some of the most powerful political regimes are masterful at using both illusion and coercion.
Coercion should not be used when questioning suspects.
▪ It means simply freedom from coercion by others and it is achieved when a sphere of private autonomy is created.
▪ The employee is protected from coercion by the employer because of other employers for whom he can work and so on.
▪ The forms of organization, power, control, coercion, and all modes of social construction are the focus.
▪ The more extreme forms of influence, such as coercion or threat, are unlikely to be sustained over any length of time.
▪ The police claimed the confessions were genuine and no coercion had been used.
▪ The view most favoured is that it could, by the intervention of an official and by means of his coercion.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Coercion \Co*er"cion\, n. [L. coercio, fr. coercere. See Coerce.]

  1. The act or process of coercing.

  2. (Law) The application to another of either physical or moral force. When the force is physical, and cannot be resisted, then the act produced by it is a nullity, so far as concerns the party coerced. When the force is moral, then the act, though voidable, is imputable to the party doing it, unless he be so paralyzed by terror as to act convulsively. At the same time coercion is not negatived by the fact of submission under force. ``Coactus volui'' (I consented under compulsion) is the condition of mind which, when there is volition forced by coercion, annuls the result of such coercion.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

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).


n. 1 (context not countable English) actual or threatened force for the purpose of compelling action by another person; the act of coerce. 2 (context legal not countable English) Use of physical or moral force to compel a person to do something, or to abstain from doing something, thereby depriving that person of the exercise of free will. 3 (context countable English) A specific instance of coerce. 4 (context computing countable English) conversion of a value of one data type to a value of another data type.

  1. n. the act of compelling by force of authority

  2. using force to cause something; "though pressed into rugby under compulsion I began to enjoy the game"; "they didn`t have to use coercion" [syn: compulsion]


Coercion is the practice of forcing another party to act in an involuntary manner by use of intimidation or threats or some other form of pressure or force. It involves a set of various types of forceful actions that violate the free will of an individual to induce a desired response, for example: a bully demanding lunch money to a student or the student gets beaten. These actions can include, but are not limited to, extortion, blackmail, torture, and threats to induce favors. In law, coercion is codified as a duress crime. Such actions are used as leverage, to force the victim to act in a way contrary to their own interests. Coercion may involve the actual infliction of physical pain/injury or psychological harm in order to enhance the credibility of a threat. The threat of further harm may lead to the cooperation or obedience of the person being coerced.

Coercion (linguistics)

In linguistics, coercion is a term applied to a process of reinterpretation that is triggered by a mismatch between the semantic properties of a selector and the semantic properties of the selected element. The term was first used in the semantic literature by Marc Moens and Mark Steedman, who adopted it on "loose analogy with type-coercion in programming languages".

In the sentence "I began the book", the predicate "began" is assumed to be a selector which requires its complement to denote an event, but "a book" denotes an entity, not an event. So, on the coercion analysis, "begin" coerces "a book" from an entity to an event involving that entity, allowing the sentence to be interpreted to mean, e.g., "I began to read a book," or "I began to write a book."

Coercion is closely related to the notions of active zone, construal/ conceptualization, and syntactic accommodation known from various schools within the cognitive linguistics movement.

Coercion (disambiguation)

Coercion is the practice of compelling a person to behave in an involuntary way.

Coercion may also refer to:

  • Coercion (linguistics), reinterpretation of a lexeme
  • Coercive function, mathematical function that "grows rapidly" at the extremes of the space on which it is defined
  • Type conversion, in programming, is changing an entity of one data type into another
  • Coercion Acts, Acts of the British parliament to suppress disorder
  • Irish Coercion Act, 1881 act of British Parliament
  • Coercivity, intensity of magnetic field needed to demagnetize a material

Usage examples of "coercion".

The words were dragged out of him by the coercion spells, and Ancar clutched the arms of his chair in glee.

In each case, coercion occurs, but it occurs by accident and the coercer is liable for the consequences of his acts.

I know of nothing in libertarian theory that makes coercion morally legitimate merely because the coercers and their victims live in the same part of the world, speak the same language, or have the same color skin.

The remaining copartners have no right of compulsion or coercion against the seceding member, for he, saving the obligations already contracted, is as free to withdraw as they are to remain.

James with his literal mind provided this game with an aggressor, a defender, and the final extraction by coercion or violence of the first osculatory contact.

The voters are converted into a great jury, and after full allowance is made for weakness, corruption and coercion, they are advanced at each quadrennial contest in their knowledge of men, in their ability to deal with measures of policy, and in comprehension of the principles of government.

Irish repealer rose and announced that the government were bartering their Corn Bill to secure coercion to Ireland.

Federal troops dare attempt the coercion of a seceding Southern State!

There was a good deal of discussion in the caucus on the question of whether the Seceding States ought to continue their delegations in Congress till the 4th of March, to prevent unfriendly legislation, or whether the Representatives of the Seceding States should all resign together, and leave a clear field for the opposition to pass such bills, looking to Coercion, as they may see fit.

Yet regulated vivisection has been confounded with antivivisection by the union of zany cranks and trade-unionized men of medicine, who have not refrained from the coercion of patients, from the deception of the public, from the inoculation of legislators with mendacity, capsuled in sophistry, and from the direct or indirect corruption or intimidation of not a few public journals.

The weaners were drafted out, and being taken to a yard at a narrow part of the creek, a rope stretched across as a guide, were after considerable intimidation and coercion forced over.

In short, the paradigm shift is defined, at least initially, by the recognition that only an established power, overdetermined with respect to and relatively autonomous from the sovereign nation-states, is capable of functioning as the center of the new world order, exercising over it an effective regulation and, when necessary, coercion.

The wages of this original sin are with us still - the idea that so-called Chicanos can find parity with whites only through government coercion, income redistribution and racial chauvinism, rather than by the very hard work of traditional education that once ensured that Mexican kids spoke perfect English, knew as much about math and science as members of any other ethnic group, and expected to find status and respect by becoming educated and prosperous.

A sentence imposed upon a plea of guilty is invalid if such plea was entered through deception or coercion of the prosecuting attorney, or in reliance upon erroneous advice given by a lawyer in the employ of the Government, where the defendant did not have the assistance of counsel and had not understandingly waived the right to such assistance.

There was no evidence of coercion, which agrees with my knowledge of your character.