Definition of suasion in US English:



  • Persuasion as opposed to force or compulsion.

    ‘the clearing banks found the use of both moral suasion and direct controls particularly irksome’
    • ‘We're looking for moral suasion so that people are encouraged to respect the national anthem.’
    • ‘Would it not have been better to allow internal reform, political evolution, and moral suasion combined with unfettered commerce to work change?’
    • ‘We of all people ought to be able to tell the difference between moral suasion and compulsion.’
    • ‘The U.S. could use moral and political suasion to encourage American companies to cut links to Rangoon.’
    • ‘Any sort of ‘conversion’ happens through a complex and mysterious combination of rational argument, moral suasion, aesthetic appeal, and gut intuition.’
    • ‘They ought to be decided by school administrators, subject to moral suasion by parents and by the public, not by courts.’
    • ‘Rogue states are, by definition, impervious to moral suasion.’
    • ‘The tactics of social movements, too, may vary, ranging from moral suasion to civil disobedience, from demonstrations to petitioning, and from armed self-defense to armed struggle.’
    • ‘As a group, private-sector actors would seem more amenable to moral suasion than are either state leaders or guerillas.’
    • ‘Even many radically liberal activists in the United States believe that their agenda should be put into force by suasion and democracy rather than judicial fiat.’
    • ‘It makes more sense for Jospin simply to voice the warning and rely on the government's powers of moral suasion.’
    • ‘We wait like small children to see if an aging Ayatollah will decide to evict us by force or moral suasion.’
    • ‘The best we can do is to use moral suasion and seek to persuade the U.S. from its chosen path.’
    • ‘It is up to us to use moral suasion to carry the day; no one else is going to take on the task for us.’
    • ‘Another possible explanation for the failure of nominal rates to rise is the wartime moral suasion by the U.S. government described above.’
    • ‘Perhaps it was awareness of the complicated reality that made brotherhood and women's auxiliary leaders understand that moral suasion was not enough to maintain sober railwaymen.’
    • ‘Moral suasion by the private sector in getting their members to pay up their taxes is another way of helping to ease the cash crunch of the state.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, it is said that the ministry intends to use moral suasion, in the first place, to get absentee teachers to mend their ways, and then disciplinary measures.’
    • ‘Aspects of the society may not be moral and individualist feminists may use education, protest, boycott, and moral suasion - the whole slate of persuasive strategies - to affect change.’
    • ‘Much evidence indicates that these changes in the lives of aristocratic women arose from a combination of moral suasion, public pressure, and political strategizing.’
    coaxing, persuading, coercion, inducement, convincing, blandishment, encouragement, urging, prompting, inveiglement, temptation, cajolery, enticement, wheedling, pressure, moral pressure
    View synonyms


Late Middle English: from Old French, or from Latin suasio(n-), from suadere ‘to urge’.