Definition of convince in English:



[with object]
  • 1Cause (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’
    • ‘Grant convinced the man to tell the truth and both men reaped their reward.’
    • ‘He is desperate to convince us that he believes in the rightness of his actions.’
    • ‘The hardest trick to pull is convincing someone that the truth is a lie.’
    • ‘There is nothing I can say or do to convince a sceptic to believe in the existence of spirit.’
    • ‘What is significant is the way Bingham convinces us that politics is a game worth playing.’
    • ‘Somehow, the oracle saying her name had been enough to convince her to believe what she was told.’
    • ‘It's a simple one, but it's one of those scams that convince people because they want to believe it.’
    • ‘In Job, Newsom convinces us, truth is multiple and glimpsed in the harsh interplay of genres and voices.’
    • ‘State politics, county politics, city politics and neighbourhood politics are what still convinces most Americans that they have a say.’
    • ‘It sounded like a sales slogan, but the genuine truth in it and the well fitting helmet convinced me.’
    • ‘His thoughts on life after forty have convinced him to accept uncertainty and nobody believes he is more than forty years old.’
    • ‘You understand why free trade is a good thing, even though you have difficulty convincing your dads and uncles.’
    • ‘He had also tried to convince her of the importance of telling her husband the truth.’
    • ‘The director had a hard time convincing him to take the part.’
    • ‘It was that most respected political commentator Miss Cilla Black who convinced me of this.’
    • ‘It almost convinces me that political bias plays a role in mainstream media coverage.’
    • ‘But in the meantime, he will try to do a proper job of convincing us.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I believe a free society can be achieved only by convincing our fellow men of its superiority over possible alternatives.’
    • ‘Until someone convinces me, I believe it would weaken the power of Leeds City Council.’
    persuade, satisfy, prove to, cause to feel certain
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    1. 1.1with object and infinitive Persuade (someone) to do something.
      ‘she convinced my father to branch out on his own’
      • ‘Amanda convinces Tom to bring home someone from the warehouse to meet his sister.’
      • ‘I was the one who had convinced him to bring the bomb, even if it wasn't intentional.’
      • ‘Jeffrey borrows a bug sprayer from his father's hardware store and convinces Dorothy to let him in to spray the kitchen.’
      • ‘His father's death convinces him not to change the world but to save it.’
      • ‘He has succeeded in making his father an F1 fan too, convincing him to apply for a post as a volunteer.’
      • ‘His mother finally convinces him to go try to get money from his father, but when they arrive at his home he refuses.’
      • ‘She once single-handedly convinced some French revolutionaries to leave her father on the throne.’
      • ‘The Solicitor General's advice that the war was legitimate finally convinced Short to stay.’
      • ‘It had taken all of Ryder's persuasion to convince Corrie to holiday away from her home town.’
      • ‘Amazingly, I had convinced my parents to let me bring Conner with me to Waterton.’
      • ‘The British reaction to earlier shows convinced him to bring Smile over here.’
      • ‘McCoy convinces Cody to bring her along as backup, and the rescue begins.’
      • ‘She said the Mayor had convinced her to bring a group of people to Ballina for the annual Festival next July.’
      • ‘And so persuasive was my sister that she managed to convince the straight boys to go too.’
      • ‘I couldn't believe I was actually planning on still trying to convince her to do it.’
      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.