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

Synonyms: Noun

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

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Microsoft, which runs its own Azure data centers, is pushing hard to convert its facilities to renewable energy. Cecilia D'anastasio, Wired, "Next-Gen Gaming Is an Environmental Nightmare," 15 Oct. 2020 For example, 994 would indicate a pressure reading of 999.4 millibars, while 112 would convert to 1011.2 millibars. Dennis Mersereau, Outside Online, "How to Read a Surface Weather Map," 15 Oct. 2020 In 2018, India’s Supreme Court upheld the right of citizens to choose their spouse and convert to another religion. Geneva Abdul, New York Times, "Jewelry Ad Featuring Interfaith Couple Sparks Outrage in India," 13 Oct. 2020 The big tax question will be in November when Illinois voters decide whether to amend the state constitution to convert the state’s flat individual income tax to a progressive tax. Kevin Bessler, Washington Examiner, "Illinois governor gets failing grade on fiscal policy," 7 Oct. 2020 The challenges in building this engine include designing the inlet to convert supersonic air flow to subsonic air flow, before entering the engine, and some of the internal components. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Meet the XB-1: A prototype for a modern supersonic passenger jet," 7 Oct. 2020 In August, the company terminated a contract with InterContinental Hotels Group Plc, clearing the way for the owner to convert 103 hotels to the Sonesta brand. Patrick Clark,, "Service Properties Trust to End Marriott Pacts, Sell Hotels," 6 Oct. 2020 Packed within leaf cells, chlorophyll enables plants to convert the sun’s energy to sugars. Ned Rozell, Anchorage Daily News, "The scents, sights and sounds of fall equinox in Alaska," 3 Oct. 2020 While expected, the decision in late June to convert the 39th Twin Cities Marathon to a virtual format was difficult for the organizers, too, but they’ve been lifted by the response of many runners. Bob Timmons, Star Tribune, "DIY marathon will have to do," 1 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Even the country's populist Prime Minister, Andrej Babis, was a convert. Tara John, CNN, "What you need to know about coronavirus on Monday, October 19," 19 Oct. 2020 But the most common in San Antonio is that of La Virgen de Guadalupe, said to have appeared to Christian convert Juan Diego in December 1531 on Tepeyac Hill, now a northern suburb of Mexico City. René A. Guzman,, "San Antonio’s Virgin Mary front yard shrines part of Christian history of faith and devotion," 28 Sep. 2020 Sheer novelty is what made a convert of Los Angeles yoga instructor Kyle Miller, 36. Lauren Mechling, WSJ, "Are Bike Shorts as Controversial as Leggings?," 16 Sep. 2020 Marshall, a Catholic convert from Anglicanism, seized the opportunity to escalate his criticism of the way that American bishops lead the church. Nicholas Rowan, Washington Examiner, "'Fake Catholic': Trump ambassador to Catholics blasts Biden for positions on abortion and gay marriage," 17 Sep. 2020 Thanks to the growth, Slootman is hardly the most influential convert to Snowflake’s cause. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Meet Snowflake, one of the buzziest tech IPOs ever," 15 Sep. 2020 The new old Joe Biden is not really a socialist convert. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "Ten 2020 Issues, Policies, Personalities — and Chance," 18 Aug. 2020 These updates include changes to all symbols that auto-convert to dates in Excel. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "Why Geneticists Really, Really Hate Microsoft Excel," 28 Aug. 2020 Jennifer Roach, a therapist, recent Latter-day Saint convert and a victim of clergy abuse herself, believes the interviews serve a vital purpose. David Noyce, The Salt Lake Tribune, "This week in Mormon Land: Pros and cons of ‘social justice ideology'; a pledge to keep politics out of the pews; new poetry about Heavenly Mother," 20 Aug. 2020

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

Time Traveler for convert

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for convert

Last Updated

25 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Convert.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for convert


How to pronounce convert (audio)

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


How to pronounce convert (audio)

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
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

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Here Be Dragons: A Creature Identification Quiz

  • monster werewolf photo
  • Which is a synonym of werewolf?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

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!