Co*er"cion (?), n. [L. coercio, fr. coercere. See Coerce.]
The act or process of coercing.
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.
© Webster 1913.