con·ver·sion | \kən-ˈvər-zhən, -shən\

Definition of conversion 

1 : the act of converting : the process of being converted

2 : an experience associated with the definite and decisive adoption of a religion

3a : the operation of finding a converse in logic or mathematics

b : reduction of a mathematical expression by clearing of fractions

4 : a successful attempt for a point or points especially after a touchdown or for a first down a 2-point conversion a third-down conversion

5 : something converted from one use to another

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Other Words from conversion

conversional \kən-ˈvərzh-nəl; -ˈvər-zhə-, -ˈvər-shnəl, -shə-nᵊl \ adjective

Examples of conversion in a Sentence

The company is undergoing a conversion to a new computer system. They have suggested conversion of the old school into apartments. Conversion to gas heating will continue over the next few years. a conversion from Catholicism to Judaism He is thinking about conversion to Buddhism.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The tales of what happens during gay conversion therapy have been spreading throughout mainstream media for the past few decades. Stephen Daw, Billboard, "Chloe Grace Moretz Rebels Through Conversion Therapy in 'The Miseducation of Cameron Post' Trailer," 10 July 2018 The government needs to understand the scale of conversion therapy. Elly Belle, Teen Vogue, "The U.K.'s LGBT Action Plan Includes Banning Conversion Therapy," 3 July 2018 Warren County was home to Leelah Alcorn, a Kings Mill transgender teen who took her own life in December 2014, saying she was being forced to undergo conversion therapy. Cameron Knight, Cincinnati Enquirer, "Lawyer: Warren County judge denies name change to transgender teen," 27 June 2018 The average life expectancy of a trans person is 35, gay conversion therapy is still legal in 37 states, and homosexual relationships are still banned in 74 countries. Wired Staff, WIRED, "The Problem With the 'Rainbow-Washing' of LGBTQ+ Pride," 21 June 2018 Though decisions by the body and individual commissioners often have less to do with party than local politics, Cuba believes adding Higgins to the commission would change conversations around issues like conversion therapy and sanctuary city laws. David Smiley, miamiherald, "This Miami special election is the bellwether contest no one predicted | Miami Herald," 23 May 2018 More than 40 cities, including Milwaukee, have passed legislation banning or opposing conversion therapy. Jeff Rumage, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Shorewood might ban gay conversion therapy, following the lead of dozens of other cities," 8 May 2018 Riverdale loves getting our heart rate up by revealing crazy plot points right before an episode ends, such as Hal Cooper not being Chic's father, or Cheryl being sent to conversion therapy. Stacey Grant, Seventeen, "The "Riverdale" Musical Episode Will Have the 'Biggest Bombshell' That'll Leave You Shook," 18 Apr. 2018 Chick-fil-A was criticized at the time not just for CEO Dan Cathy’s views, but for donating nearly $2 million to anti-LGBTQ groups, including those that supported conversion therapy and some designated as hate groups. Grace Donnelly, Fortune, "'The New Yorker' Is Not Happy About the Spread of Chick-fil-A in New York City," 16 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'conversion.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of conversion

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for conversion

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin conversion-, conversio, from convertere

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Last Updated

13 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for conversion

The first known use of conversion was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for conversion



English Language Learners Definition of conversion

: the act or process of changing from one form, state, etc., to another

: the act or process of changing from one religion, belief, political party, etc., to another

: a successful attempt at scoring extra points in rugby or American football


con·ver·sion | \kən-ˈvər-zhən \

Kids Definition of conversion

1 : the act of changing : the process of being changed They've finished the conversion of the old school into an apartment building.

2 : a change of religion


con·ver·sion | \kən-ˈvər-zhən, -shən \

Medical Definition of conversion 

1 : the transformation of an unconscious mental conflict into a symbolically equivalent bodily symptom

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con·ver·sion | \kən-ˈvər-zhən \

Legal Definition of conversion 

1a : the act of changing from one form or use to another

b : the act of exchanging one kind of property for another especially : the act of exchanging preferred stocks or bonds for shares of common stock of the same company usually at a preset ratio or price and at a preset time

equitable conversion

: the constructive conversion of real property into personal property especially as a result of a contract for sale of land or testamentary instructions to sell real estate and divide the proceeds

Note: Equitable conversion is a legal fiction under which the seller of a real property becomes, upon the execution of a contract for the sale of the property, the owner of personal property in the form of legal title to the property that secures payment of the purchase price. The purchaser is deemed to be the holder of equitable title in and owner of the real property, having the rights and being subject to the liabilities that attend that status. In the case of a will in which a property owner authorizes the sale of real property and distribution of the proceeds, the property transforms into personalty by equitable conversion upon the owner's death.

involuntary conversion

: the conversion of property into other property as compensation for the theft, destruction, seizure, requisition, or condemnation of the original property

Note: For income tax purposes, involuntary conversions are generally taxable, and the gain or loss is computed by offsetting the basis of the property against the compensation received (as from insurance).

2 : the crime or tort of interfering with the ownership of another's movable or personal property without authorization or justification (as a lien) and especially of depriving the owner of use and possession — see also fraudulent conversion

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