Definition of convince in English:



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

    ‘Robert's expression had obviously convinced her of his innocence’
    with object and clause ‘you couldn't convince him that a floppy disk was as good as a manuscript’
    • ‘Somehow, the oracle saying her name had been enough to convince her to believe what she was told.’
    • ‘It was that most respected political commentator Miss Cilla Black who convinced me of this.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It almost convinces me that political bias plays a role in mainstream media coverage.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Until someone convinces me, I believe it would weaken the power of Leeds City Council.’
    • ‘His thoughts on life after forty have convinced him to accept uncertainty and nobody believes he is more than forty years old.’
    • ‘Grant convinced the man to tell the truth and both men reaped their reward.’
    • ‘There is nothing I can say or do to convince a sceptic to believe in the existence of spirit.’
    • ‘It's a simple one, but it's one of those scams that convince people because they want to believe it.’
    • ‘State politics, county politics, city politics and neighbourhood politics are what still convinces most Americans that they have a say.’
    • ‘He had also tried to convince her of the importance of telling her husband the truth.’
    • ‘I believe a free society can be achieved only by convincing our fellow men of its superiority over possible alternatives.’
    • ‘In Job, Newsom convinces us, truth is multiple and glimpsed in the harsh interplay of genres and voices.’
    • ‘It sounded like a sales slogan, but the genuine truth in it and the well fitting helmet convinced me.’
    • ‘What is significant is the way Bingham convinces us that politics is a game worth playing.’
    • ‘You understand why free trade is a good thing, even though you have difficulty convincing your dads and uncles.’
    • ‘But in the meantime, he will try to do a proper job of convincing us.’
    • ‘The director had a hard time convincing him to take the part.’
    persuade, satisfy, prove to, cause to feel certain
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    1. 1.1 Persuade (someone) to do something.
      ‘she convinced my father to branch out on his own’
      • ‘I couldn't believe I was actually planning on still trying to convince her to do it.’
      • ‘And so persuasive was my sister that she managed to convince the straight boys to go too.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Amazingly, I had convinced my parents to let me bring Conner with me to Waterton.’
      • ‘It had taken all of Ryder's persuasion to convince Corrie to holiday away from her home town.’
      • ‘I was the one who had convinced him to bring the bomb, even if it wasn't intentional.’
      • ‘His father's death convinces him not to change the world but to save it.’
      • ‘Jeffrey borrows a bug sprayer from his father's hardware store and convinces Dorothy to let him in to spray the kitchen.’
      • ‘McCoy convinces Cody to bring her along as backup, and the rescue begins.’
      • ‘She once single-handedly convinced some French revolutionaries to leave her father on the throne.’
      • ‘His mother finally convinces him to go try to get money from his father, but when they arrive at his home he refuses.’
      • ‘The British reaction to earlier shows convinced him to bring Smile over here.’
      • ‘Amanda convinces Tom to bring home someone from the warehouse to meet his sister.’
      • ‘He has succeeded in making his father an F1 fan too, convincing him to apply for a post as a volunteer.’
      induce, prevail on, get, talk round, bring around, win over, sway
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Although it is common to see convince and persuade used interchangeably, there are distinctions in meaning that careful writers and speakers try to preserve. Convince derives from a Latin word meaning ‘conquer, overcome.’ Persuade derives from a Latin word meaning ‘advise, make appealing, sweeten.’ One can convince or persuade someone with facts or arguments, but, in general, convincing is limited to the mind, while persuasion results in action (just as dissuasion results in nonaction): the prime minister convinced the council that delay was pointless; the senator persuaded her colleagues to pass the legislation


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