con·​ver·​so kən-ˈver-(ˌ)sō How to pronounce converso (audio)
plural conversos
: a Jew who publicly recanted the Jewish faith and adopted Christianity under the pressure of the Spanish Inquisition

Examples of converso in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Since then, the island has hosted a vivid procession of conquistadors, conversos, maroons, priests, pirates, prisoners, guano miners, military men, treasure hunters, scientists and refugees. Carina Del Valle Schorske, New York Times, 20 Mar. 2024 Amsterdam’s Jews were descended from Portuguese conversos, Jews forcibly converted to Catholicism at the end of the fifteenth century, who continued to practice their faith in secret for generations. Adam Kirsch, The New Yorker, 5 Feb. 2024 Piñer shows us how, during the Inquisition, the testimony of servants and merchants often was used as proof that a converso (a Jew who converted to Catholicism) was still participating in Jewish practices. Los Angeles Times, 29 Aug. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'converso.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Spanish, literally, convert

First Known Use

1728, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of converso was in 1728

Dictionary Entries Near converso

Cite this Entry

“Converso.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2024.

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