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con·​vert kən-ˈvərt How to pronounce convert (audio)
converted; converting; converts

transitive verb

: to bring over from one belief, view, or party to another
They tried to convert us to their way of thinking.
: to bring about a religious conversion in
The missionaries converted the native people to Christianity.
: to alter the physical or chemical nature or properties of especially in manufacturing
converting starch into dextrose
: to change from one form or function to another
converted the attic into a bedroom
: to alter for more effective utilization
convert a coal furnace to oil
: to appropriate without right
: to exchange for an equivalent
convert foreign currency into dollars
convert a bond
obsolete : turn
: to subject to logical conversion
: to make a goal after receiving (a pass) from a teammate
: to score on (an attempt, such as a try for point or free throw)
: to make (a spare) in bowling

intransitive verb

: to undergo conversion
He converted to Islam.
: to succeed in an attempt for a point, field goal, or free throw


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con·​vert ˈkän-ˌvərt How to pronounce convert (audio)
: one that is converted
a convert to Christianity
Choose the Right Synonym for convert

transform, metamorphose, transmute, convert, transmogrify, transfigure mean to change a thing into a different thing.

transform implies a major change in form, nature, or function.

transformed a small company into a corporate giant

metamorphose suggests an abrupt or startling change induced by or as if by magic or a supernatural power.

awkward girls metamorphosed into graceful ballerinas

transmute implies transforming into a higher element or thing.

attempted to transmute lead into gold

convert implies a change fitting something for a new or different use or function.

converted the study into a nursery

transmogrify suggests a strange or preposterous metamorphosis.

a story in which a frog is transmogrified into a prince

transfigure implies a change that exalts or glorifies.

joy transfigured her face

Examples of convert in a Sentence

Verb They tried for two points but could not convert. They had many chances to score but they couldn't convert their opportunities. They had chances to score but couldn't convert. Noun I didn't think I'd like paying my bills online, but now I'm a convert. the converts were the most vocal and fervent worshippers in the church
Recent Examples on the Web
Roughly eight times a day, a truckload of sewage sludge, processed in part from human waste, is dropped at the site and converted to compost. Jessica Garrison, Los Angeles Times, 28 Sep. 2023 The three most common styles of hiking pants for men include: Convertible pants: Full-length pants designed to be zipped off above the knee, converting into a pair of shorts. Meg Carney, Field & Stream, 27 Sep. 2023 Sliding walls allow living spaces to be converted across the yacht. Michael Verdon, Robb Report, 27 Sep. 2023 San Francisco is considering a proposal to convert its downtown Westfield Centre Mall, formerly home to Nordstrom and other retailers, into a soccer stadium. John Rennie Short, Fortune, 25 Sep. 2023 Someone who has too much income to contribute to a Roth IRA directly can contribute after-tax earnings to a traditional IRA, then convert it to a Roth. Sarah Brodsky,, 24 Sep. 2023 Arkansas overcame a 5-yard sack by converting third and 4 on Tyrone Broden's 7-yard catch. Tom Murphy, Arkansas Online, 24 Sep. 2023 The Ducks converted a first down, scoring their third touchdown of the day later in the drive. Ryan Morik, Fox News, 23 Sep. 2023 Oil is customarily priced in dollars, and converting most currencies to dollars is costly. Jeff Sommer, New York Times, 22 Sep. 2023
But Keith, with his flaky, shiny-eyed, so-out-there-it’s-in social-media presence, wins a handful of converts over to his mania. Owen Gleiberman, Variety, 8 Sep. 2023 Investors sometimes gradually buy up 20 or 30 apartments in a single building — or snag them when the building opens or converts. Adriane Quinlan, Curbed, 8 Sep. 2023 There, the fat converts to ketones and releases back into the bloodstream. Cynthia Sass, Mph, Rd, Health, 5 Sep. 2023 Lori Beer, the global chief information officer of JPMorgan Chase, talks about the latest artificial intelligence with the enthusiasm of a convert. Steve Lohr, New York Times, 29 Aug. 2023 On the other hand, no new congregations have been created in Ireland over that period, which suggests poor retention of new converts and other members. The Salt Lake Tribune, 26 July 2023 The documentary, which runs barely over an hour, feels a little stunt-like and probably won’t earn many new converts. Chris Vognar, Los Angeles Times, 24 July 2023 But no matter the fanaticism of the adherents, there is a ceiling on converts willing to listen to 15-minute songs about the shadows of the moon. Jeff Weiss, Spin, 21 Aug. 2023 Beta-carotene converts into vitamin A and plays a role in growth and healthy vision. Stephanie Karpinske, Parents, 17 Aug. 2023 See More

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

Word History



Middle English, from Anglo-French convertir, from Latin convertere to turn around, transform, convert, from com- + vertere to turn — more at worth

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


1561, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of convert was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near convert

Cite this Entry

“Convert.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
con·​vert kən-ˈvərt How to pronounce convert (audio)
: to change from one belief, view, or party to another
: to change from one substance, form, use, or unit to another
convert pounds to grams
: to exchange for something equal in value
convert francs into dollars
converter noun


2 of 2 noun
con·​vert ˈkän-ˌvərt How to pronounce convert (audio)
: a person who has been converted

Legal Definition


transitive verb
con·​vert kən-ˈvərt How to pronounce convert (audio)
: to change from one form or use to another
: to exchange (property) for another especially of a different kind
if property…is compulsorily or involuntarily convertedInternal Revenue Code
especially : to exercise the right of conversion by exchanging (preferred shares or bonds) for common stock
: to appropriate (another's property) by conversion
the bailee converted the goods to his own use
see also embezzle
converter noun
convertible adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on convert

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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