[ pros-uh-lahyt ]
/ ˈprɒs əˌlaɪt /


a person who has changed from one opinion, religious belief, sect, or the like, to another; convert.

verb (used with or without object), pros·e·lyt·ed, pros·e·lyt·ing.

Origin of proselyte

1325–75; Middle English < Late Latin prosēlytus < Greek (Septuagint) prosḗlytos, for *prosḗlythos newcomer, proselyte, equivalent to prosēlyth- (suppletive stem of prosérchesthai to approach) + -os noun suffix
Related formspros·e·lyt·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for proselyte


/ (ˈprɒsɪˌlaɪt) /


a person newly converted to a religious faith or sect; a convert, esp a gentile converted to Judaism


a less common word for proselytize
Derived Formsproselytism (ˈprɒsɪlɪˌtɪzəm), nounproselytic (ˌprɒsɪˈlɪtɪk), adjective

Word Origin for proselyte

C14: from Church Latin prosēlytus, from Greek prosēlutos recent arrival, convert, from proserchesthai to draw near
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 proselyte



late 14c., from Old French proselite (13c., Modern French prosélyte), from Late Latin proselytus, from Greek proselytos "convert (to Judaism), stranger, one who has come over," noun use of adjective meaning "having arrived," from second aorist stem of proserkhesthai "to come or go; surrender; associate with," from proti "toward" + root of eleusesthai "to be going to come," from PIE *elu-to-, from root *leudh- "to go." Originally in English "a Gentile converted to Judaism" (late 14c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper