[ per-sweyd ]
See synonyms for: persuadepersuadedpersuadespersuading on

verb (used with object),per·suad·ed, per·suad·ing.
  1. to prevail on (a person) to do something, as by advising or urging: We could not persuade him to wait.

  2. to induce to believe by appealing to reason or understanding; convince: to persuade the judge of the prisoner's innocence.

Origin of persuade

From the Latin word persuādēre, dating back to 1505–15. See per-, dissuade, suasion

synonym study For persuade

1. Persuade, induce imply influencing someone's thoughts or actions. They are used today mainly in the sense of winning over a person to a certain course of action: It was I who persuaded him to call a doctor. I induced him to do it. They differ in that persuade suggests appealing more to the reason and understanding: I persuaded him to go back to his wife (although it is often lightly used: Can't I persuade you to stay to supper? ); induce emphasizes only the idea of successful influence, whether achieved by argument or by promise of reward: What can I say that will induce you to stay at your job? Owing to this idea of compensation, induce may be used in reference to the influence of factors as well as of persons: The prospect of a raise in salary was what induced him to stay.

usage note For persuade

See convince.

Other words for persuade

Opposites for persuade

Other words from persuade

  • per·suad·a·ble, adjective
  • per·suad·a·bil·i·ty, per·suad·a·ble·ness, noun
  • per·suad·a·bly, adverb
  • per·suad·ing·ly, adverb
  • non·per·suad·a·ble, adjective
  • pre·per·suade, verb (used with object), pre·per·suad·ed, pre·per·suad·ing.
  • un·per·suad·a·ble, adjective
  • un·per·suad·a·bly, adverb
  • un·per·suad·ed, adjective
  • well-per·suad·ed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use persuade in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for persuade


/ (pəˈsweɪd) /

verb(tr; may take a clause as object or an infinitive)
  1. to induce, urge, or prevail upon successfully: he finally persuaded them to buy it

  2. to cause to believe; convince: even with the evidence, the police were not persuaded

Origin of persuade

C16: from Latin persuādēre, from per- (intensive) + suādēre to urge, advise

Derived forms of persuade

  • persuadable or persuasible, adjective
  • persuadability or persuasibility, noun
  • persuader, noun

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