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noun con·vic·tion \kən-ˈvik-shən\

Simple Definition of conviction

  • law : the act of proving that a person is guilty of a crime in a court of law

  • : a strong belief or opinion

  • : the feeling of being sure that what you believe or say is true

Full Definition of conviction

  1. 1 :  the act or process of finding a person guilty of a crime especially in a court of law

  2. 2 a :  the act of convincing a person of error or of compelling the admission of a truth b :  the state of being convinced of error or compelled to admit the truth

  3. 3 a :  a strong persuasion or belief b :  the state of being convinced

Examples of conviction

  1. … a perfect example, I told Bobby, … why Realtors have to be prepared to work holidays. “Well, yeah,” he said, utterly without conviction. —Jane Smiley, Good Faith, 2003

  2. It was his conviction that if the words in the story were blurred because of the author's insensitivity, carelessness, or sentimentality, then the story suffered from a tremendous handicap. —Raymond Carver, The Story and Its Writer, edited by Ann Charters, 1987

  3. She spoke in … the voice which people often used to express their deepest convictions … —Paula Fox, A Servant's Tale, 1984

  4. Certainly the basis of our democracy is the conviction of the worth of the individual. —Robert Penn Warren, Democracy and Poetry, (1975) 1976

  5. She hopes to avoid conviction.

  6. In light of the evidence, a conviction seems certain.

  7. He has three prior drunk-driving convictions.

  8. Convictions for shoplifting have made it difficult for her to get a job.

  9. a person of deep convictions

  10. They share my strong conviction that the policy is misguided.

Origin of conviction

(see 2convict)

First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of conviction

certainty, certitude, conviction mean a state of being free from doubt. certainty and certitude are very close; certainty may stress the existence of objective proof <claims that cannot be confirmed with scientific certainty>, while certitude may emphasize a faith in something not needing or not capable of proof <believes with certitude in an afterlife>. conviction applies especially to belief strongly held by an individual <holds firm convictions on every issue>.

opinion, view, belief, conviction, persuasion, sentiment mean a judgment one holds as true. opinion implies a conclusion thought out yet open to dispute <each expert seemed to have a different opinion>. view suggests a subjective opinion <very assertive in stating his views>. belief implies often deliberate acceptance and intellectual assent <a firm belief in her party's platform>. conviction applies to a firmly and seriously held belief <the conviction that animal life is as sacred as human>. persuasion suggests a belief grounded on assurance (as by evidence) of its truth <was of the persuasion that everything changes>. sentiment suggests a settled opinion reflective of one's feelings <her feminist sentiments are well-known>.

CONVICTION Defined for Kids


noun con·vic·tion \kən-ˈvik-shən\

Definition of conviction

  1. 1 :  a strong belief or opinion <political convictions>

  2. 2 :  the state of mind of a person who is sure that what he or she believes or says is true <She spoke with conviction.>

  3. 3 :  the act of proving or finding guilty :  the state of being proven guilty <He appealed his conviction.>

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February 13, 2016

a trying or distressing experience

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