noun con·vic·tion \kən-ˈvik-shən\

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

:  the act or process of finding a person guilty of a crime especially in a court of law
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
a :  a strong persuasion or belief
b :  the state of being convinced

Examples of CONVICTION

  1. She hopes to avoid conviction.
  2. In light of the evidence, a conviction seems certain.
  3. He has three prior drunk-driving convictions.
  4. Convictions for shoplifting have made it difficult for her to get a job.
  5. a person of deep convictions
  6. They share my strong conviction that the policy is misguided.
  7. … 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


(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>.

Other Legal Terms

actionable, alienable, carceral, chattel, complicity, decedent, larceny, malfeasance, modus operandi
CONVICTION Defined for Kids


noun con·vic·tion \kən-ˈvik-shən\

Definition of CONVICTION for Kids

:  a strong belief or opinion <political convictions>
:  the state of mind of a person who is sure that what he or she believes or says is true <She spoke with conviction.>
:  the act of proving or finding guilty :  the state of being proven guilty <He appealed his conviction.>


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