Definition of persuade in US English:



  • 1with object and infinitive Cause (someone) to do something through reasoning or argument.

    ‘it wasn't easy, but I persuaded him to do the right thing’
    • ‘But we have to move on from recycling to persuading people not to take home stuff that they will throw away in short order.’
    • ‘Efforts to persuade teenagers to stay at school had also been increased.’
    • ‘The arguments and results may persuade you to change the way you coach this critical skill.’
    • ‘He believes this would persuade many motorists to switch to a second-hand purchase.’
    • ‘It tends to persuade people who may be otherwise inclined to carry out a preventative maintenance service once a year.’
    • ‘A police negotiator persuaded the man to release the woman and child about 30 minutes after the siege began.’
    • ‘She states that Rob was holding her hand leading and persuading her to walk along the road towards his house.’
    • ‘Two years later he persuaded her to move from Queensland to his home town of Melbourne, where he would look after her and her career.’
    • ‘She was hanging on to my arm, but one of the teachers got her to come away by persuading her to go and read a book.’
    • ‘The music persuades you to move whether you want to or not.’
    • ‘They only lived in Las Vegas for six months, until Jena persuaded her mom to move to Los Angeles.’
    • ‘Her dad's efforts to persuade her to buy a computer have fallen on deaf ears.’
    • ‘His agent has been trying to persuade him to move down to London, so that he will be closer to the jobs.’
    • ‘Surprised, the flight attendant and the co-pilot asked what he said to her that finally persuaded her to move from her seat.’
    • ‘You have no idea how difficult it was to persuade him to move it back into the kitchen.’
    • ‘He said the drivers were persuaded to move their cars before the towing company arrived.’
    • ‘He stayed in the court room for around 20 minutes until a police officer arrived and persuaded him to leave.’
    • ‘Alas, the lead singer's attempts to persuade him to remove his shirt for the ladies went down the toilet.’
    • ‘‘I did some research and took a long time persuading Mary to take the gamble, but in January this year a dentist started removing her fillings,’ he said.’
    • ‘After several minutes reasoning, Rachel was persuaded to give the mouse freedom in the front garden.’
    prevail on, talk someone into, coax, convince, make, get, press someone into, induce, win someone over, bring someone round, argue someone into, pressure someone into, pressurize someone into, coerce, influence, sway, prompt, inveigle, entice, tempt, lure, cajole, wheedle someone into, get round, blarney, prod someone into, reason someone into
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1with object Cause (someone) to believe something, especially after a sustained effort; convince.
      with object and clause ‘he did everything he could to persuade the police that he was the robber’
      ‘they must often be persuaded of the potential severity of their drinking problems’
      • ‘If you really were persuaded of determinism, the hope would collapse.’
      • ‘But when I ask his closest advisers whether the Prime Minister has been persuaded of this, they hum and haw.’
      • ‘So it was quite incredible to see people willingly parade across this fiery pathway, but Cliff had done a great job in persuading us to believe that we could.’
      • ‘He seems truly to have been persuaded of the justice of his claims.’
      • ‘I believe that, since he was persuaded that his initial view was wrong, he was positively obliged to alter it.’
      • ‘The police officers gave the couple their towels and, after persuading the uncooperative woman that her children were safe, led them outside.’
      • ‘He persuaded Americans to believe not only in their power but also in the righteousness of that power.’
      • ‘Applying that standard we were not persuaded of the guilt of the employee and we could not move honestly to dismissal.’
      • ‘Your Lordship could only give permission to appeal if your Lordship were persuaded of either of two things.’
      • ‘Certainly, not all of Asia is yet persuaded of the value of these products.’
      • ‘It is easier to be persuaded of all this than to prove it in detail.’
      • ‘How could I persuade her to believe me and not think I was being mental or playing a joke?’
      • ‘The former is even more likely to be persuaded of the soundness of his brief.’
      • ‘Under the Criminal Code, police can install a tracking device only after persuading a judge there are reasonable grounds to believe a crime has been or will be committed.’
      • ‘And then there's the myth of objectivity, which persuades us that there's nothing out there to believe in any more.’
      • ‘Why would individuals expend effort to persuade an audience about something that it already believes?’
      • ‘There was a high proportion of this electorate who are not persuaded of his leadership abilities.’
      • ‘Hamilton seemed to be finally persuaded of the merits of taking the game by the scruff of the neck.’
      • ‘No human voice can persuade the man who believes that God is speaking in his other ear.’
      • ‘Investors have yet to be persuaded of the merits of this new tack, but they have little choice in the matter.’
      convince, assure, make certain
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 (of a situation or event) provide a sound reason for (someone) to do something.
      ‘the cost of the manor's restoration persuaded them to take in guests’
      • ‘The alarm woke me at 6.30 the next morning, but the sound of heavy rain on the van roof persuaded me to switch it off and go back to sleep.’
      • ‘If the moral case won't persuade everyone, perhaps the practical case will.’
      • ‘I ought to have gone on to change the bed sheets and pillow cases but energy levels persuaded me otherwise.’
      • ‘Nor do I think a slippery slope case would persuade anyone who can see nothing wrong with banning such views.’
      • ‘His top-rated programme now persuades people to go out and buy satellite receivers.’
      • ‘Further protests have persuaded them to put the whole thing on hold.’
      • ‘She explained that the event had finally persuaded her husband to wear his thick glasses in public.’
      • ‘Such successes persuaded them to form a partnership, and they were the stars of this BBC show.’
      • ‘There are two events that have persuaded him that the situation is critical.’
      • ‘A more modern party may finally persuade them out of their armchairs and into the polling booth.’
      • ‘The projects have all been evaluated against our success checklist and have all persuaded people to change their behaviour.’
      • ‘A quick look at the book's references persuades me that the book provides no support for the fallback position.’
      • ‘Once again, I have concluded that the evidence does not persuade me that this event occurred.’
      • ‘Laurel and Hardy's best performances persuade you that humiliation is not all it's cracked up to be.’
      • ‘But then a couple of things happened that persuaded me to change my mind.’
      • ‘The commercial success of the song persuaded him to leave the band and embark on a solo career.’
      • ‘There is nothing that we have read or heard which persuades us that the situation has changed since then.’
      • ‘But the supposed need for an early revolution did persuade many to accept violence as a temporary necessity.’
      • ‘The party persuaded itself that it has a destination and must travel to get there.’
      • ‘No doubt volatile stock markets have persuaded many more of us to invest as much as possible in Premium Bonds.’
      cause, lead, move, dispose, incline, motivate, induce
      View synonyms


For a discussion of the difference between persuade and convince, see convince


Late 15th century: from Latin persuadere, from per- ‘through, to completion’ + suadere ‘advise’.