verb (used with object), con·vinced, con·vinc·ing.

to move by argument or evidence to belief, agreement, consent, or a course of action: to convince a jury of his guilt; A test drive will convince you that this car handles well.
to persuade; cajole: We finally convinced them to have dinner with us.
Obsolete. to prove or find guilty.
Obsolete. to overcome; vanquish.

Origin of convince

1520–30; < Latin convincere to prove (something) false or true, (somebody) right or wrong, equivalent to con- con- + vincere to overcome; see victor
Related formscon·vinc·ed·ly, adverbcon·vinc·ed·ness, nouncon·vinc·er, nouncon·vin·ci·ble, adjectivecon·vinc·i·bil·i·ty, nounhalf-con·vinced, adjectivepre·con·vince, verb (used with object), pre·con·vinced, pre·con·vinc·ing.qua·si-con·vinced, adjectivere·con·vince, verb (used with object), re·con·vinced, re·con·vinc·ing.un·con·vinced, adjectiveun·con·vin·ci·ble, adjectivewell-con·vinced, adjective

Synonyms for convince

Usage note

Convince, an often stated rule says, may be followed only by that or of, never by to: We convinced him that he should enter (not convinced him to enter ) the contest. He was convinced of the wisdom of entering. In examples to support the rule, convince is often contrasted with persuade, which may take to, of, or that followed by the appropriate construction: We persuaded him to seek counseling (or of his need for counseling or that he should seek counseling ). The history of usage does not support the rule. Convince (someone) to has been in use since the 16th century and, despite objections by some, occurs freely today in all varieties of speech and writing and is fully standard: Members of the cabinet are trying to convince the prime minister not to resign. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for convince

Contemporary Examples of convince

Historical Examples of convince

  • Windich took some of the old dung with him to convince our companions that we had seen them.

  • He says, he will convince you of his love by deeds, since he is not permitted by you to express it by words.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • But I hope you will convince as well them as me of the contrary.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • But he was apparently able to convince even Larry la Roche by means of words.

  • (To Béralde) Will you let me convince you; and to show you at once how my mistress loves my master.

British Dictionary definitions for convince


verb (tr)

(may take a clause as object) to make (someone) agree, understand, or realize the truth or validity of something; persuade
mainly US to persuade (someone) to do something
  1. to overcome
  2. to prove guilty
Derived Formsconvincement, nounconvincer, nounconvincible, adjective

Word Origin for convince

C16: from Latin convincere to demonstrate incontrovertibly, from com- (intensive) + vincere to overcome, conquer


The use of convince to talk about persuading someone to do something is considered by many British speakers to be wrong or unacceptable
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 convince

1520s, "to overcome in argument," from Latin convincere "to overcome decisively," from com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + vincere "to conquer" (see victor). Meaning "to firmly persuade" is from c.1600. Related: Convinced; convincing; convincingly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper