The Meaning of Coercion: What It Is and How To Use It

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What does it mean if a person uses coercion as a tactic to get someone else to do something? 

The following article will explore what this word of the day means, as well as how to use the word coercion in a sentence. If you want to be an expert on the definition of coercion, keep reading!

What Does Coercion Mean?

According to Dictionary, the definition of coercion is the use of force or intimidation to force someone to do something else. Coercion, in short, is the act of coercing – the verb form of the word coercion is coerce. 

Coercion is three syllables — co-er-cion — and the pronunciation of coercion is koʊˈɜr ʃən.

How Can We Use Coercion in a Sentence?

You can use the word coercion in numerous ways in the English language. 

This is a fairly advanced word in English vocabulary, so it is important to provide proper context when using it. Below, you will find several examples of coercion. As you read through each example sentence, see if you can determine who or what is coercing someone else. 

Coercion in a Sentence: Example 1

The law enforcement officials were caught coercing subjects for false confessions in order to make their annual numbers seem better. 

Question: Who or what is coercing someone in the above sentence?

Answer: Law enforcement officials are coercing subjects in the above sentence.

Coercion in a Sentence: Example 2

The school bully used coercion and threats of violence to get the other students’ lunch money until the principal expelled him.

Question: Who or what is coercing someone in the above sentence?

Answer: The school bully is coercing someone in the above sentence.

Coercion in a Sentence: Example 3

The politician used coercion to create undue influence over voters and beat his opponent in a landslide. However, he was later arrested for his crimes. 

Question: Who or what is coercing someone in the above sentence?

Answer: The politician is coercing someone in the above sentence.

Coercion in a Sentence: Example 4

While, on the outside, it appeared that the citizens of the country had free will, on the inside, the government was practicing coercion.  

Question: Who or what is coercing someone in the above sentence?

Answer: The corrupt government is coercing someone in the above sentence.

Coercion in a Sentence: Example 5

The abuser used a form of coercion to keep his victim by his side at all times. 

Question: Who or what is coercing someone in the above sentence?

Answer: The abuser is coercing someone in the above sentence.

What Is the Etymology of Coercion?

According to the dictionary, the word coercion entered the English language between 1515 and 1525. This Middle English word is Latin in origin and comes from the Latin coercēre and coerctiōn, from coerticus and coercere

What Are Translations of Coercion?

Unfortunately, coercion is a tactic that people can use all over the world. 

If you are watching a legal drama in another language, or if you are going to be studying or working in another language, it could be useful to know how to say the word coercion in different languages.

To learn all of the different ways that you can say the word coercion, turn to this list of coercion translations from Nice Translator. Can you think of specific situations where knowing how to say coercion in another language would be useful? 

  • Portuguese (Brazil): coerção
  • Swedish: tvång
  • Malayalam: ബലപ്രയോഗം
  • Lithuanian: prievarta
  • Urdu: جبر
  • Dutch: dwang
  • Filipino: Purok
  • Japanese: 強制
  • Czech: donucování
  • Marathi: जबरदस्ती
  • Chinese (Taiwan): 強迫
  • Hungarian: kényszerítés
  • Welsh: gorfodaeth
  • Slovak: nátlak
  • Kannada: ಬಲಾತ್ಕಾರ
  • Serbian: присила
  • Thai: การบีบบังคับ
  • Greek: εξαναγκασμός
  • Italian: coercizione
  • Amharic: ማስገደድ
  • Indonesian: paksaan
  • Catalan: coerció
  • Telugu: బలవంతం
  • Ukrainian: примус
  • French: coercion
  • Danish: tvang
  • Bengali: জবরদস্তি
  • Finnish: pakko
  • German: Zwang
  • Vietnamese: cưỡng chế
  • Polish: przymus
  • Gujarati: જબરદસ્તી
  • Portuguese (Portugal): coerção
  • Hebrew: כְּפִיָה
  • Chinese (PRC): 强迫
  • Turkish: zorlama
  • Hindi: दबाव
  • Icelandic: Þvinganir
  • Norwegian: tvang
  • Korean: 강제
  • Bulgarian: принуда
  • Arabic: الإكراه
  • Spanish: coerción
  • Swahili: kulazimisha
  • Slovenian: prisila
  • Romanian: constrângere
  • Croatian: prisila
  • Malay: paksaan
  • Tamil: வற்புறுத்தல்
  • Estonian: sund
  • Latvian: piespiešana
  • Russian: принуждение

What Are the Synonyms of Coercion?

Coercion and many of its synonyms have a negative connotation because coercion is a term that implies intimidation and force.

If you are in need of a word that has the same meaning as coercion but has a different connotation, you can study this list of synonyms of coercion from Power Thesaurus. Which one of these synonyms of coercion would you use if you needed a word with a positive connotation?

  • arm-twisting
  • authoritarianism
  • browbeating
  • brutality
  • bullying
  • coaction
  • commotion
  • compulsion
  • confinement
  • constraint
  • dictatorship
  • disturbance
  • drive
  • duress
  • enforcement
  • extortion
  • ferocity
  • fierceness
  • force
  • forcing
  • fury
  • harassment
  • heat
  • intensity
  • intimidation
  • menace
  • menacing
  • obligation
  • oppression
  • persuasion
  • pressure
  • pressures
  • repression
  • restraint
  • savagery
  • severity
  • strong-arm tactics
  • terrorism
  • terrorization
  • threat
  • threatening
  • threats
  • uproar
  • vehemence
  • violence

What Are Antonyms of Coercion?

What is the opposite of coercion? Coercion means using intimidation to force someone to do something, but what if you were blocking someone from doing something? This would be considered an antonym of coercion.

To get a sense of which words are antonyms for coercion, you can use the below list from Power Thesaurus.

  • bar
  • barrier
  • block
  • blockage
  • catch
  • check
  • clog
  • complication
  • constraint
  • curb
  • delay
  • deterrent
  • difficulty
  • disadvantage
  • drawback
  • encumbrance
  • fly in the ointment
  • handicap
  • hindrance
  • hindrance
  • hitch
  • hurdle
  • impediment
  • inconvenience
  • inhibition
  • interference
  • interruption
  • liability
  • limitation
  • nuisance
  • obstacle
  • obstruction
  • preventative
  • prevention
  • preventive
  • problem
  • restraint
  • restriction
  • setback
  • snag
  • stoppage
  • stumbling block


The meaning of coercion is to use intimidation or force to make someone comply with a rule or request. Coercion is the noun form of the verb coerce, which means to force or intimidate someone. 

Have you ever been coerced into doing something? We hope not, but if you need a word to describe your experience, you have it now.


Coercion synonyms – 574 Words and Phrases for Coercion | Power Thesaurus 

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Coercion Definition & Meaning | 

Coercion | Nice Translator