Definition of convince in English:



  • 1 Cause (someone) to believe firmly in the truth of something:

    ‘Robert's expression had obviously convinced her of his innocence’
    [with object and clause] ‘we had to convince politicians that they needed to do something’
    • ‘In Job, Newsom convinces us, truth is multiple and glimpsed in the harsh interplay of genres and voices.’
    • ‘She tells him she lied, convinces him she's now telling the truth, and he launches a campaign to get to the bottom of the case.’
    • ‘He is desperate to convince us that he believes in the rightness of his actions.’
    • ‘Grant convinced the man to tell the truth and both men reaped their reward.’
    • ‘But in the meantime, he will try to do a proper job of convincing us.’
    • ‘There is nothing I can say or do to convince a sceptic to believe in the existence of spirit.’
    • ‘The hardest trick to pull is convincing someone that the truth is a lie.’
    • ‘Until someone convinces me, I believe it would weaken the power of Leeds City Council.’
    • ‘State politics, county politics, city politics and neighbourhood politics are what still convinces most Americans that they have a say.’
    • ‘What is significant is the way Bingham convinces us that politics is a game worth playing.’
    • ‘He had also tried to convince her of the importance of telling her husband the truth.’
    • ‘It was that most respected political commentator Miss Cilla Black who convinced me of this.’
    • ‘You understand why free trade is a good thing, even though you have difficulty convincing your dads and uncles.’
    • ‘The director had a hard time convincing him to take the part.’
    • ‘Somehow, the oracle saying her name had been enough to convince her to believe what she was told.’
    • ‘It almost convinces me that political bias plays a role in mainstream media coverage.’
    • ‘His thoughts on life after forty have convinced him to accept uncertainty and nobody believes he is more than forty years old.’
    • ‘It sounded like a sales slogan, but the genuine truth in it and the well fitting helmet convinced me.’
    • ‘It's a simple one, but it's one of those scams that convince people because they want to believe it.’
    • ‘I believe a free society can be achieved only by convincing our fellow men of its superiority over possible alternatives.’
    persuade, satisfy, prove to, cause to feel certain
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    1. 1.1[with object and infinitive] Persuade (someone) to do something:
      ‘she convinced my father to branch out on his own’
      • ‘McCoy convinces Cody to bring her along as backup, and the rescue begins.’
      • ‘And so persuasive was my sister that she managed to convince the straight boys to go too.’
      • ‘His mother finally convinces him to go try to get money from his father, but when they arrive at his home he refuses.’
      • ‘He has succeeded in making his father an F1 fan too, convincing him to apply for a post as a volunteer.’
      • ‘Amanda convinces Tom to bring home someone from the warehouse to meet his sister.’
      • ‘The British reaction to earlier shows convinced him to bring Smile over here.’
      • ‘The Solicitor General's advice that the war was legitimate finally convinced Short to stay.’
      • ‘She said the Mayor had convinced her to bring a group of people to Ballina for the annual Festival next July.’
      • ‘His father's death convinces him not to change the world but to save it.’
      • ‘I was the one who had convinced him to bring the bomb, even if it wasn't intentional.’
      • ‘I couldn't believe I was actually planning on still trying to convince her to do it.’
      • ‘She once single-handedly convinced some French revolutionaries to leave her father on the throne.’
      • ‘Amazingly, I had convinced my parents to let me bring Conner with me to Waterton.’
      • ‘Jeffrey borrows a bug sprayer from his father's hardware store and convinces Dorothy to let him in to spray the kitchen.’
      • ‘It had taken all of Ryder's persuasion to convince Corrie to holiday away from her home town.’
      induce, prevail on, get, talk round, bring around, win over, sway
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Convince used (with an infinitive) as a synonym for persuade first became common in the 1950s in the US, as in she convinced my father to branch out on his own. Some traditionalists deplore the blurring of distinction between convince and persuade, maintaining that convince should be reserved for situations in which someone's belief is changed but no action is taken as a result (he convinced me that he was right) while persuade should be used for situations in which action results (he persuaded me rather than he convinced me to seek more advice). In practice the newer use is well established


Mid 16th century (in the sense ‘overcome, defeat in argument’): from Latin convincere, from con- with + vincere conquer. Compare with convict.