a fixed or firm belief: No clever argument, no persuasive fact or theory could make a dent in his conviction in the rightness of his position.
the act of convicting someone, as in a court of law; a declaration that a person is guilty of an offense.
the state of being convicted.
the act of convincing a person by argument or evidence.
the state of being convinced.

Origin of conviction

1400–50; late Middle English < Late Latin convictiōn- (stem of convictiō) proof (of guilt). See convict, -ion
Related formscon·vic·tion·al, adjectivenon·con·vic·tion, nounpre·con·vic·tion, nounpro·con·vic·tion, adjectivere·con·vic·tion, noun

Synonym study

1. See belief.

Antonyms for conviction Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for conviction

Contemporary Examples of conviction

Historical Examples of conviction

  • Percival watched the decline with a conviction that he was dreaming.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Falling from the lips of others, they dropped with conviction into my own soul.

  • She spoke quietly enough, but with the earnestness of conviction.

  • This accusation, after soul-wearying delays, had culminated to-day in conviction.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • Mary's voice came with a certainty of conviction born of fact.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

British Dictionary definitions for conviction



the state or appearance of being convinced
a fixed or firmly held belief, opinion, etc
the act of convincing
the act or an instance of convicting or the state of being convicted
carry conviction to be convincing
Derived Formsconvictional, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for conviction

mid-15c., "the proving of guilt," from Late Latin convictionem (nominative convictio) "proof, refutation," noun of action from past participle stem of convincere (see convince). Meaning "mental state of being convinced" is from 1690s; that of "firm belief, a belief held as proven" is from 1841.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with conviction


see courage of one's convictions.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.