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

Definition of convert

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to bring over from one belief, view, or party to another They tried to convert us to their way of thinking.
b : to bring about a religious conversion in The missionaries converted the native people to Christianity.
2a : to alter the physical or chemical nature or properties of especially in manufacturing converting starch into dextrose
b(1) : to change from one form or function to another converted the attic into a bedroom
(2) : to alter for more effective utilization convert a coal furnace to oil
(3) : to appropriate without right
c : to exchange for an equivalent convert foreign currency into dollars convert a bond
3 obsolete : turn
4 : to subject to logical conversion
5a : to make a goal after receiving (a pass) from a teammate
b : to score on (an attempt, such as a try for point or free throw)
c : to make (a spare) in bowling

intransitive verb

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


con·​vert | \ ˈkän-ˌvərt How to pronounce convert (audio) \

Definition of convert (Entry 2 of 2)

: one that is converted a convert to Christianity

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for convert

Synonyms: Verb

proselyte, proselytize

Synonyms: Noun

neophyte, proselyte

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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


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.


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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Mosab, now estranged from his family, sought asylum in the United States and converted to Christianity. Washington Post, "Son of Hamas leader calls the militant movement a ‘racist terror organization’," 5 July 2019 But, of course, fear has long been a way to motivate people, and back then, the fear sweeping America was that the Soviet Union, our bitterest enemy, was eclipsing us — or worse, converting other nations to Communism. Michael Granberry, Dallas News, "Some people say it never happened, but this Dallas author says we can and will return to the moon," 3 July 2019 The guests discuss the potential obstacles to utilities in Florida converting to solar energy, the economic impact of Brexit on Central Florida and the push to legalize marijuana for recreational use in Florida. Hal Boedeker,, "Amendment 4: Did Florida leaders follow will of voters?," 2 July 2019 Originally built for Catholic nuns to provide housing and medical services to children and women, the structure was converted to the Carver Hall apartments in the early 1940s, offering affordable rentals largely to African American tenants. Luke Broadwater,, "State sues owner of historic West Baltimore asylum, alleging illegal demolition spread asbestos into air," 2 July 2019 Larouci, 18, arrived at the club as a winger before being converted to a left-back by the Reds' Under-18s coach Barry Lewtas., "5 Liverpool Youngsters Who Are Ready to Break Into Jürgen Klopp's First-Team in 2019/20," 1 July 2019 Beating one’s opponents at the ballot box can provide temporary victories and emotional satisfaction, but converting enough of them to the conservative cause is the only way to guarantee long-term success. Bobby Jindal, WSJ, "Conservatives, Put Culture First," 1 July 2019 Buffett converted 11,250 Class A shares of Berkshire stock to 16,875,000 Class B shares, then donated 16,811,941 shares to the five foundations., "RealReal stock fades a bit; Kardashian backs off on Kimono," 1 July 2019 Kloss converted to Judaism last June, and the two first tied the knot in upstate New York in October 2018. Vogue, "Karlie Kloss Celebrates Her Wedding With a Star-Studded “Prairie Party” in Wyoming," 24 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

By Todd Weaver and Brendan Eich Google CEO Sundar Pichai recently wrote about the importance of privacy in the New York Times, joining Facebook and others as purported converts to the cause. Brendan Eich, The Mercury News, "Opinion: New generation of tech firms urges stronger privacy laws," 23 June 2019 The flavor choices include your usual chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry; the last of which turned our team of strawberry ice cream haters into loyal converts. Michelle Santiago Cortés,, "Oatly’s Oat Milk Ice Cream Is Here & It’s Seriously Delicious," 15 June 2019 So, which false lashes made a convert out of the actor? Marci Robin, Allure, "Kaley Cuoco Never Wore False Lashes Until She Tried This $30 Set From Sephora," 3 May 2019 He wasn’t asked to score, but Birch showed the ability to run the floor and convert baskets in transition (with layups and dunks) and an effectiveness in getting to the basket and finishing at the rim in the pick-and-roll game. Roy Parry,, "Magic center Khem Birch raised his game in 2018-19," 9 June 2019 In Yermo, the interstate is like a conveyor belt of potential customers and converts. Matthew Ormseth,, "With Tiananmen Square ‘Tank Man,’ Chinese sculptor will keep democracy’s flame alive in Mojave," 3 June 2019 In a particle collider, when particles smash together at nearly light speed, their kinetic energy converts into matter, occasionally forming heavy particles such as the Higgs boson. Quanta Magazine, "The Physics Still Hiding in the Higgs Boson," 4 Mar. 2019 So Di Maio has criss-crossed the region from Turin to Udine for weeks, seeking converts., "Five Star Poster Boy Must Convince Italy He Won’t Trash Economy," 12 Feb. 2018 These Moroccan converts often celebrate Masses in their homes and hide their religious affiliations for fear of prosecution and arrest. Amira El Masaiti, The Seattle Times, "Pope tells Moroccans “we are brothers and sisters”," 31 Mar. 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of convert


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


1561, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for convert


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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about convert

Statistics for convert

Last Updated

8 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for convert

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for convert



English Language Learners Definition of convert

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to change (something) into a different form or so that it can be used in a different way
: to change to a different system, method, etc.
: to change from one form or use to another



English Language Learners Definition of convert (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person who has changed to a different religion, belief, political party, etc.


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

Kids Definition of convert

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to change from one form to another There are mechanical devices that convert air into beautiful sounds.— E. B. White, The Trumpet of the Swan
2 : to change from one belief, religion, view, or party to another
3 : to exchange for an equivalent I converted my dollars into euros.


con·​vert | \ ˈkän-ˌvərt How to pronounce convert (audio) \

Kids Definition of convert (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person who has been convinced to change to a different belief, religion, view, or party


transitive verb
con·​vert | \ kən-ˈvərt How to pronounce convert (audio) \

Legal Definition of convert

1a : to change from one form or use to another
b : 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
2 : to appropriate (another's property) by conversion the bailee converted the goods to his own use — see also embezzle

Other Words from convert

converter noun
convertible \ kən-​ˈvər-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce convertible (audio) \ adjective

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on convert

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with convert

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for convert

Spanish Central: Translation of convert

Nglish: Translation of convert for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of convert for Arabic Speakers

Comments on convert

What made you want to look up convert? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


characterized by aphorism

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!