1. The act of persuading or the state of being persuaded: "The persuasion of a democracy to big changes is at best a slow process" (Harold J. Laski).
2. The ability or power to persuade: "Three foremost aids to persuasion which occur to me are humility, concentration, and gusto" (Marianne Moore).
3. A strongly held opinion; a conviction: "He had a strong persuasion that Likeman was wrong" (H.G. Wells).
a. A body of religious beliefs; a religion: worshipers of various persuasions.
b. A party, faction, or group holding to a particular set of ideas or beliefs.
5. Informal Kind; sort: "the place where ... rockers of any gender or persuasion can become megastars" (Christopher John Farley).
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin persuāsiō, persuāsiōn-, from persuāsus, past participle of persuādēre, to persuade; see PERSUADE.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.