[kuh n-vin-sing]


persuading or assuring by argument or evidence: They gave a convincing demonstration of the car's safety features.
appearing worthy of belief; plausible: The excuse was not convincing.

Origin of convincing

First recorded in 1605–15; convince + -ing2
Related formscon·vinc·ing·ly, adverbcon·vinc·ing·ness, nounhalf-con·vinc·ing, adjectivehalf-con·vinc·ing·ly, adverbun·con·vinc·ing, adjectiveun·con·vinc·ing·ly, adverb



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 convincing

Contemporary Examples of convincing

Historical Examples of convincing

  • "There's not much variety," he answered, with a convincing droop of depression.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Thackeray's own explanation was more characteristic than convincing.

  • And the answer of Aggie was given with a like convincing emphasis.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • There was discontent in her eyes, which were her most convincing attraction.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

  • There would be the difficulty of convincing her that she would be doing her aunt no wrong.


    Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius

British Dictionary definitions for convincing



credible or plausible
mainly law persuading by evidence or argument
Derived Formsconvincingly, adverbconvincingness, noun


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 convincing



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