per·​suade | \pər-ˈswād \
persuaded; persuading

Definition of persuade 

transitive verb

1 : to move by argument, entreaty, or expostulation to a belief, position, or course of action

2 : to plead with : urge

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from persuade

persuader noun

Examples of persuade in a Sentence

He persuaded his friend to go back to school. She couldn't be persuaded to go. He would not let himself be persuaded into buying the more expensive stereo. I am not easily persuaded. They persuaded us that we were wrong. He persuaded himself that he had made the right choice.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Hogg, who had planned to spend his summer surfing and chilling by the beach, said he was now committed to persuading Americans frustrated with the political system to register to vote ahead of November’s midterm elections. Jenny Jarvie,, "With school out, Parkland students plan the next stage in their gun control campaign," 4 June 2018 Evans emphasized the importance of persuading moderate Republicans and more conservative Democrats to vote for Democrats, while Abrams stressed the importance of reaching voters of color who sat out recent political contests. P.r. Lockhart, Vox, "Stacey Abrams’s Georgia primary victory is the latest win for black political organizing," 23 May 2018 The review was released last month in the hope of persuading undecided Senators to support Haspel’s nomination. Natasha Bach, Fortune, "'Too Tough on Terrorists.' Here's Why Trump Is Pushing Hard for the Confirmation of Gina Haspel as CIA Director," 7 May 2018 Mr Javid needs to start by persuading his boss to abandon her fixation with including students in migration figures. The Economist, "Sajid Javid gets to work on a formidable in-tray," 3 May 2018 The logic of attachment therapy is that, by persuading a child to let go of control, accompanied by intense physical contact with either a therapist or a parent, they are given the chance to forge a new kind of bond. Longreads, "Born Again," 1 May 2018 Such open-mindedness is a mark of a great judge, and a prerequisite for persuading others. Jack Goldsmith, Time, "Brett Kavanaugh Will Right the Course of the Supreme Court," 12 July 2018 The president could have been a critical salesman in persuading wavering Republicans to get behind the legislation. Thomas Kaplan, Anchorage Daily News, "House rejects immigration overhaul despite Trump's late plea," 27 June 2018 But in recent months, officials say, the two countries have been cooperating more in hopes of persuading the Afghan Taliban to join peace talks. Ihsanullah Mehsud,, "US drone strike kills leader of Pakistani Taliban," 15 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'persuade.' 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 persuade

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for persuade

Latin persuadēre, from per- thoroughly + suadēre to advise, urge — more at sweet

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about persuade

Statistics for persuade

Last Updated

8 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for persuade

The first known use of persuade was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for persuade



English Language Learners Definition of persuade

: to cause (someone) to do something by asking, arguing, or giving reasons

: to cause (someone) to believe something


per·​suade | \pər-ˈswād \
persuaded; persuading

Kids Definition of persuade

: to win over to a belief or way of acting : convince The weather report persuaded me to stay home.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on persuade

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


by force of circumstances

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

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!