Definition of convert in US English:



  • 1with object Cause to change in form, character, or function.

    ‘production processes that converted raw material into useful forms’
    • ‘This is the point where local intermediaries, on the web or on the ground, can read, translate, and convert the information into content that is relevant to the local context.’
    • ‘Players insert a barcode into the machine which scans it and converts it into a character, who is then put into action in the fight game.’
    • ‘For the ex-president there is also the part of his personality that hungers to convert enemies into friends, critics into colleagues.’
    • ‘To achieve these effects viscous fibres function by converting the small intestine into a storage organ for the slow release of glucose to the portal circulation.’
    • ‘Most of the vitamin A in chicory comes from beta carotene, a cancer-fighting carotenoid that your body converts to vitamin A.’
    • ‘When one listened to it totally and did not translate it nor convert it into an idea, something tremendous happened.’
    • ‘Patients with low levels of beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A, were 21 times more likely to be HIV-positive.’
    • ‘Like any traveling circus, she converts the sidewalk into a stage, cannily positioning herself for maximum visibility within a sea of pedestrians.’
    • ‘When you eat, your body converts food into glucose (blood sugar), which gives energy to your cells.’
    • ‘We cannot convert everything electronically and transmit them through the Internet, can we?’
    • ‘In other words, the bone marrow-derived cells are not converted into functioning muscle fibre.’
    • ‘How can the program be converted into transmission without power?’
    • ‘The phenotype was converted back to that characteristic of a wild-type strain, showing that the injected DNA contained the normal gene.’
    • ‘Such information will have to be converted into a functional meteorological package.’
    • ‘Using transliteration to convert Arabic phonetics into English proved difficult to standardize.’
    • ‘The transmitter converts acoustic energy (the sound of your voice vibrating the diaphragm) into electrical energy.’
    • ‘It does so by drawing on its store of glucose, which it converts to lactic acid.’
    • ‘On a computer, they usually are written by typing words phonetically in Roman letters, then using special software to convert them to characters.’
    • ‘This paramilitary-industrial complex converts the rhetoric and conceptualization of fear into an economic reality.’
    • ‘A wireless phone's main function is converting human speech into digital signals and back again.’
    change, turn, transform, metamorphose, transfigure, transmute, translate
    adapt, turn, rework, recast, reshape, refashion, remodel, remould
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    1. 1.1no object Change or be able to change from one form to another.
      ‘the seating converts to a double or two single beds’
      • ‘It converts to one or other of the liquid crystalline phases above 10°C.’
      • ‘It is the first international airline to offer a seat that converts to a fully flat bed at the touch of a button.’
      • ‘When you do, the moisture in the kernel converts to steam and expands, creating pressure that pushes against the hull.’
      • ‘However, if you have a bassinet that converts to a change table, this is one piece of baby furniture you won't have to buy.’
      • ‘Sulphur converts to sulphuric acid with the help of bacteria in the soil but this takes time depending on factors like the presence of bacteria, texture of the soil and moisture levels.’
      • ‘When the sun's unobstructed rays hit the outside surface of your windows, the light immediately converts to heat as it passes through the window.’
      • ‘If unconditional, it converts to dogma, which is incompatible with intellectual honesty.’
      • ‘It converts to R2,47 trillion, or the whole South African budget, including protection services, education, health and welfare, for about six years.’
      • ‘She also loves the ease with which her hard work converts to money here.’
      • ‘In the body, it converts to testosterone, which women need to have a sex drive.’
      • ‘You get limousines at both ends and, on board, a private leather armchair that converts to a bed.’
      • ‘It converts to a side bag with a shoulder strap for business oriented occasions.’
      • ‘What that converts to in this country is around 2,000 who are coping with arthritis.’
      • ‘When needed, the sunroom can host a small band, and the backyard hot tub converts to a stage.’
      • ‘‘Testosterone converts to estrogen in the brain’ she says, noting that related studies are under way.’
      • ‘This is because it converts to a hands-free carrying strap.’
      change into, be able to be changed into, adapt to
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    2. 1.2 Change (money, stocks, or units in which a quantity is expressed) into others of a different kind.
      ‘the figures have been converted at $0.545 to the Dutch guilder’
      • ‘Some of the Irish money was converted into sterling and is believed to have been smuggled back into the country, the sources said.’
      • ‘At the moment it's compulsory to convert your pension pot into an annuity by the age of 75 to give you an income throughout retirement.’
      • ‘A weak foreign currency reduces the amount of money investors receive when the foreign currency is converted.’
      • ‘Banks will still accept Irish currency after this date, but you may be charged a fee for converting the money.’
      • ‘Interest accrued on the debt is also converted into common shares.’
      • ‘And transaction costs for converting money into other EMU currencies are set to fall, in some cases substantially.’
      • ‘Dollar bank deposits were converted into pesos at an artificially low exchange rate, and import permits were implemented on all goods.’
      • ‘Argentinians have bad memories of a similar move in the late 1980s that led to their savings being converted into government bonds.’
      • ‘This meant that the governments could no longer meet the demands to convert the local currency into the foreign currency at the pegged rate.’
      • ‘Since withdrawals from such plans are fully taxed, you might wind up converting tax-free dividends into taxable income.’
      • ‘His lap grand total is 2,927 lengths of the pool, which converts to 40.65 miles.’
      • ‘For some investors, the small spread may not justify the costs and risks associated with converting currencies to buy and sell foreign shares.’
      • ‘In such circumstances your bank will have converted the payment to pounds before posting it to your account.’
      • ‘Indeed, if the currency were floated, it might well decline as Chinese convert their domestic currency holdings into dollars.’
      • ‘Forward contracts guarantee that a company will be able to convert a specified sum of money (either into or out of a foreign currency) on a certain date.’
      • ‘A single-share investment in 1995 will have increased to 1.3 shares as dividends were converted into more shares.’
      • ‘Also card issuers generally apply a foreign exchange loading on top of tourist foreign exchange rates for converting the currency.’
      • ‘Congress wished to prevent using depreciation to convert ordinary income into capital gains.’
      • ‘Many apparently converted their money hoards or business activities to dollars.’
      • ‘In addition, are these profits being converted into cash or are they being sucked up by items like capital expenditure?’
      change, turn
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    3. 1.3 Adapt (a building) to make it suitable for a new purpose.
      ‘the space can be easily converted into a home office’
      • ‘The report also recommended that the college work with local landlords to discuss possibly converting those buildings into campus housing.’
      • ‘The work will involve building two new campuses for primary and special needs education, a new senior school, and converting an existing building.’
      • ‘The church wanted to convert the empty building to provide facilities including a conference centre, exhibition hall, career training facilities, a place of worship, a library and a crèche.’
      • ‘But the king chose to stay at his palaces and the building was converted into the state guest house for the President, Vice-President and other dignitaries.’
      • ‘The old school was empty for a while before its separate buildings were converted (back, in one case) into houses.’
      • ‘They emphasised they had no problem with residents extending their houses or converting their garages for family rather than commercial reasons.’
      • ‘They have already started work converting the mill buildings into apartments.’
      • ‘Last year residents objected to an application for general retail use which they feared would result in the building being converted into a supermarket.’
      • ‘He said it was planned to make 75,000 sq ft of office space available by converting existing buildings such as the hospital's kitchens and other service areas.’
      • ‘Later many of these buildings were converted into cinemas and by the early 1900s cinematography was becoming widespread.’
      • ‘Plans to convert an old factory building into 12 homes hit a setback on Monday amid opposition from residents.’
      • ‘At former ADC sites, the radars have been removed and the facilities have been converted to perform new functions.’
      • ‘After 70 years the building was converted into a luxury hotel while keeping in mind every aspect of its architectural integrity.’
      • ‘Across the city they are being targeted by property developers keen to convert the buildings into plush new flats.’
      • ‘Mr Clarke challenged the suggestion that it would be too difficult to convert the building to a new purpose at this stage.’
      • ‘A day nursery in Wimbledon is set to expand after being given permission to convert a listed office building to house more children and its teacher training school.’
      • ‘The owner plans to convert the building into apartments.’
      • ‘Bellway wants to convert the historic mill building into apartments and build other houses and flats making a total of 80 homes on the site.’
      • ‘In 1910, the pensioners were moved out of London to the country and the building was converted into a museum.’
      • ‘Receiving an eviction notice-their apartment building was converted into a cooperative - added to the couple's stress.’
      adapt, turn, rebuild, reconstruct, redevelop, remake, make over, refashion, redesign, restyle, revamp
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    4. 1.4Logic Transpose the subject and predicate of (a proposition) according to certain rules to form a new proposition by inference.
      • ‘Logicians have overlooked the fact, that when we convert the proposition All Ys are (some) Xs into All not-Xs are (some) not-Ys there is a relation between the two (somes), understood in the predicates.’
      • ‘The process illustrated above is called reduction where premises and conclusions of a certain argument are converted to a first figure syllogism to conclude that the argument is valid.’
  • 2no object Change one's religious faith or other beliefs.

    ‘at sixteen he converted to Catholicism’
    • ‘During this time, much of the population converted to the Islamic faith, and Albanians also emigrated to Italy, Greece, Egypt and Turkey.’
    • ‘Eva, a model, even converted to the Catholic faith in the hope that it would improve her standing in Spain but it failed to impress.’
    • ‘After the American Revolution they converted to Christianity in great numbers, and their faith in God helped them endure the hardships.’
    • ‘But Marcos became converted to the Indian ways and understood that there were alternative approaches alongside the threat of weapons.’
    • ‘But then he said that he'd ‘renounced’ humour, like someone would say they'd given up smoking or converted to a different religion.’
    • ‘A non-Jew who converts to this sort of Judaism remains a non-Jew.’
    • ‘But companies converted to the religion of efficiency, based on downsizing and re-engineering.’
    • ‘In general, one is Jewish if born of a Jewish mother or if he or she converts to Judaism.’
    • ‘He later converted to Buddhism, but did not impose his faith on his subjects.’
    • ‘Regarding his biography and psychology, four years ago Kelly converted to the Baha'i religion, a pacifist faith that strongly condemns suicide.’
    • ‘In most of its territory the great majority of the population converted to the new religion, and in much of it (though not in Iran) it also adopted Arabic as its spoken language.’
    • ‘Some of them married Indonesian women, converted to Islam or other faiths and applied for Indonesian citizenship.’
    • ‘Some Norwegians converted to the Baptist faith.’
    • ‘That night I converted to a new religion and I was very happy but I knew that I would have to keep it a secret from my parents because they'd be furious.’
    • ‘Remember, a long time ago it was the cities that converted to a new faith and the country dwellers were slow to follow.’
    • ‘Because brides often converted to the faith of their husbands, all of the major religions within Lebanon competed for converts to their faith.’
    • ‘The former Bristol University student was deeply religious and converted to Roman Catholicism shortly before joining the Army.’
    • ‘He also served as an island council member and mayor for many years and after he converted to the Apostolic faith, he became a pastor.’
    • ‘She converted to her husbands religion about four years before she died.’
    • ‘In high school, he abandoned his parents' Hindu faith and converted to Catholicism.’
    1. 2.1with object Persuade (someone) to change one's religious faith or other beliefs.
      ‘he was converted in his later years to the socialist cause’
      • ‘The belief that civil disobedience succeeded by converting the opponent was perhaps a misconception, one held by Gandhi himself.’
      • ‘How can a denomination prevent its members even from interacting with those of other denominations and, at the same time, also claim the right to convert people of other faiths into its own fold?’
      • ‘This intense desire to convert people to the Baptist faith encouraged other Baptists.’
      • ‘Indeed, he may even show a new fervor about convincing and converting other people to his view.’
      • ‘Relax, the aliens are still some time away from converting us to their religion.’
      • ‘It would raise the poor and the downtrodden, not to convert people to a belief but to help all people become happy and free in both body and mind.’
      • ‘In the film, Carina talks about those who use their faith to intimidate or convert other people.’
      • ‘We shall not manifest our religion publicly nor convert anyone to it.’
      • ‘But, if you want to convince or convert me, you'll have to use powerful, yet easily understandable, intellectual arguments.’
      • ‘Joseph's words did not convert me on the spot, but they shook my beliefs to the roots, because they chimed so convincingly with the evidence that I saw around me.’
      • ‘Julia finds a new lover, Doctor Channard, and converts him to her faith.’
      • ‘Do Buddhists try to actively convert people to their religion?’
      • ‘My beliefs are my own and I do not need to convert you.’
      • ‘I'm far too liberal a person in my thinking to want to convert people.’
      • ‘This is not about converting the people that are already with you.’
      • ‘The social gospel failed miserably to convert men or to reform churches.’
      • ‘When you accept government funds, I don't think that it the place to try to convert people either to a religious persuasion or a religious ideal.’
      • ‘I don't think there is any danger of it converting me to religion, or to the power of prayer.’
      • ‘She converted Kelly to the religion, which was founded in Baghdad in 1863 by the Iranian notable Baha'u'llah.’
      • ‘No attempt is made to convince or convert people of other faiths to Hindu faith.’
      proselytize, evangelize, bring to god, redeem, save, reform, re-educate, cause someone to change their beliefs, cause someone to change their mind, make someone see the light
      View synonyms
  • 3with object Score from (a penalty kick, pass, or other opportunity) in a sport or game.

    • ‘He converted the spotkick to put Spurs ahead and then provided the pass for Steffen Iversen to make it 2-0.’
    • ‘If you're pouring forward but you can't convert the chances you create, the likelihood is that you're going to end up on the wrong end of the scoreline.’
    • ‘Rea kept on converting those chances to scores.’
    • ‘At that time the West Midland side were developing the pattern that has seen them improve dramatically but were still poor at converting their chances.’
    • ‘The Texans failed twice to force a fourth down in the drive, as Harrington converted both third-and-long opportunities with first down passes.’
    1. 3.1American Football no object Advance the ball far enough during a down to earn a first down.
      ‘the Oilers converted on over half of their third downs’
      • ‘Kevin Lockett is sure-handed and can convert third downs.’
      • ‘Brooks continued his uncanny ability to convert third downs in the clutch.’
      • ‘That resulted in problems converting third downs and sustaining long drives.’
      • ‘The offense must convert third downs, allowing the defense to stay fresh.’
      • ‘In some respects, teams are almost penalized for converting first downs in the two-minute drill because it just takes that much longer to get the next play off.’
    2. 3.2American Football no object Score an extra point or points after having scored a touchdown by kicking a goal (one point) or running another play into the end zone (two points).
      • ‘After blocking a punt which they converted into an easy touchdown, the Texans drew the score to 10-7 and had momentum on their side.’
      • ‘The team converted the extra point attempt and had a 7-0 lead at the half.’
      • ‘He kicked 42 and 37-yard field goals and converted all four touchdowns.’


  • A person who has been persuaded to change their religious faith or other beliefs.

    ‘he is a recent convert to the Church’
    • ‘A girl of my age declaring herself a convert to any religion is sure to raise eyebrows.’
    • ‘As a teen-age convert to serious Christianity, I was a puritanical zealot.’
    • ‘In 1918 he became a convert to the Bahai faith and much of his subsequent work was inspired by an interest in Oriental art and thought.’
    • ‘In 1625, Elizabeth Cary returned to London, and she became a high-profile convert to Roman Catholicism in 1626.’
    • ‘It is very rare to see a Muslim in such a union convert to Hinduism.’
    • ‘If you're a convert to organic produce, you're not alone.’
    • ‘My being a Catholic convert to Islam helped her to relate to the religion, though she already knew some things about it.’
    • ‘James is a convert to Islam and made his first Hajj pilgrimage in 2003.’
    • ‘I do not speak, therefore, as one who comes from the ranks of the teetotalers, one who has never been tainted, nor am I a recent convert to the anti-drink brigade.’
    • ‘My father was a great wrestler before he became a convert to Christianity.’
    • ‘I've tasted them because I am a convert to Atkins.’
    • ‘Like many financial advisers, he has a strong entrepreneurial streak and pursues his ideas with the eye-popping zeal of a convert to a new religion.’
    • ‘Researchers also believe the king was an early convert to Christianity after a silver spoon, probably imported from the east, engraved with a cross and Latin wording was found.’
    • ‘His analysis is sufficiently persuasive to make me a convert to numerology.’
    • ‘As a convert to Orthodox Christianity - and, while she'd deny it, something of a mystic - Maggie believed in the sanctity of God's creation.’
    • ‘Steve's a really interesting guy and a convert to the Faith to boot!’
    • ‘Laurel herself was an early convert to all things digital after winning a computer (of sorts) at age 12.’
    • ‘Paul, an early convert to Christianity, preached mainly to Gentiles outside Palestine.’
    • ‘Soon after, I became an enthusiastic convert to the right.’
    • ‘I am a late convert to, and somewhat sceptical of, the notion of seeking a greater degree of fitness by using weights and machines.’
    proselyte, neophyte, new believer
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  • convert something to one's own use

    • Wrongfully make use of another's property.

      • ‘Any person so doing shall be presumed to have the intent to convert it to his own use.’
      • ‘The Court ruled that a federal criminal statute forbidding conversion of government property required a showing that the defendant knew the property belonged to another and intended to convert it to his own use.’
      • ‘Every person entrusted with any property as bailee, lessee, tenant or lodger, or with any power of attorney for the sale or transfer thereof, who fraudulently converts the same, or the proceeds thereof, to his own use, or secretes it with a fraudulent intent to convert it to his own use, shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.’
      • ‘The cases where personal property is taken by a person to whom it has been entrusted, and who converts it to his own use, present very nice discriminations between ordinary breaches of trust and outright larceny.’
      • ‘It is possible that it may have been proved to the jury that this flour was really intended to be shipped on account of the plaintiff, and that the defendant did not mean to convert it to his own use.’
      • ‘Conversion is sort of like embezzlement: You have the rights to manage something, and you convert it to your own use.’
      • ‘It may be taken by stealth with such intent, or it may be taken with the owner's knowledge through fraudulent practice, by which the owner was induced to give up possession without parting with the title or right to the property, and if the taker receives it under such circumstances intending to convert it to his own use and thereby deprive the owner thereof, the crime is larceny.’
      • ‘Mr. Lyons told the client he would deposit the client's $35,000 in his trust account to prevent the lawyer from collecting, convert it to his own use, and the client could recover the money from the Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection.’
      • ‘Thereafter, defendant took away the severed sugar canes that were Mr. Jackson's with a value of $50.00 without Mr. Jackson's knowledge or consent and with intent to convert it to his own use.’
      • ‘If I were to take something of value from you - without your express permission - and convert it to my own use for my own profit, would that count as stealing?’


Middle English (in the sense ‘turn round, send in a different direction’): from Old French convertir, based on Latin convertere ‘turn about’, from con- ‘altogether’ + vertere ‘turn’.