- 1. Constraint, restraint, compulsion; the application of force to control the action of a voluntary agent.
- b. Forcible restraint of (action).
- c. The enforcement or execution of an ecclesiastical sentence.
- 2. Government by force, as opposed to that which rests upon the will of the community governed; the employment of force to suppress political disaffection and the disorder to which it gives rise. In modern English politics, chiefly applied to the suspension of ordinary constitutional liberties, and other exceptional legislation, from time to time applied to Ireland.
- 3. Physical pressure; compression.
- 4. The faculty or power of coercing or punishing; ‘coerciive power’ or ‘jurisdiction’. (So L. coercitio.) Obs.
- b. fig. Conviction, power to compel assent.
Coercion (pronounced /co-er-shon/ or /koʊˈɜrʃən/) is the practice of forcing another party to behave in an involuntary manner (whether through action or inaction) by use of threats, intimidation, trickery, or some other form of pressure or force. Such actions are used as leverage, to force the victim to act in the desired way. 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. Torture is one of the most extreme examples of coercion. (i.e. Severe pain is inflicted on victims in order to extract the desired information from the tortured party.)