Simple Definition of proselytize
: to try to persuade people to join a religion, cause, or group
Full Definition of proselytize
1 : to induce someone to convert to one's faith
2 : to recruit someone to join one's party, institution, or cause
: to recruit or convert especially to a new faith, institution, or cause
proselytizationplay \ˌprä-s(ə-)lə-tə-ˈzā-shən, ˌprä-sə-ˌlī-tə-\ noun
proselytizerplay \ˈprä-s(ə-)lə-ˌtī-zər\ noun
Examples of proselytize in a sentence
They are a sport-shirted, discomforted lot, pacing, puffing feverishly on cigarettes, perspiring freely and proselytizing furiously. —Nicholas Dawidoff, Sports Illustrated, 19 Aug. 1991
Mormons are urged to use their social contacts with Gentiles to proselytize, by doing such favors as babysitting, running errands, and lending lawnmowers. —Malise Ruthven, Wilson Quarterly, Spring 1991
His prodigious correspondence with twenty-five hundred scientists, politicians, and men of letters … proselytized for his new science of statistics. —Daniel J. Boorstin, The Discoverers, 1983
He uses his position to proselytize for the causes that he supports.
<the efforts of early missionaries to proselytize the Native Americans of Minnesota were largely unproductive>
Did You Know?
Proselytize comes from the noun proselyte (meaning "a new convert"), which comes from the Late Latin noun proselytus. Proselytus means "stranger" or "alien resident," and comes from a similar Greek word (prosēlytos). When proselytize entered English in the 17th century, it had a distinctly religious connotation and meant simply "to recruit religious converts." This meaning is still common, but today one can also proselytize in a broader sense - recruiting converts to one's political party or pet cause, for example.
Origin and Etymology of proselytize
First Known Use: 1679
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