per·​suade | \ pər-ˈswād How to pronounce persuade (audio) \
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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Law enforcement spent hours communicating with White and trying to persuade him to release them all. Morgan Watkins, The Courier-Journal, "Police: Murder suspect in custody after holding child, two women hostage," 1 Jan. 2021 In the interim, Mr. Biden’s advisers have used public statements to caution European officials against any hasty action, and to try to persuade them of the benefits of waiting to coordinate with the new American administration. New York Times, "China and E.U. Leaders Strike Investment Deal, but Political Hurdles Await," 30 Dec. 2020 Refrain from criticizing others or attempting to persuade them to adopt other views. James E. Causey,, "What happens when the subject of race is on the table? We invited a diverse group of people to our house to find out.," 18 Dec. 2020 But given the demographic changes in the state and concentrated efforts by Democrats to register more of their voters — and persuade them to cast absentee ballots before Election Day — many Republicans are preparing for a far tighter contest. Lisa Lerer, Star Tribune, "As Trump Attacks Georgia Republicans, Party Worries About Senate Races," 30 Nov. 2020 The Administration official said that several people around Trump were trying to persuade him to concede his loss to President-elect Joe Biden—a manifestly unpleasant task. Dexter Filkins, The New Yorker, "Why Trump Carried Out His Pentagon Purge," 14 Nov. 2020 With Thanksgiving about two weeks away, the governor used his latest COVID-19 news briefing not to dissuade families from gathering but to persuade them to do so safely, including wearing masks among relatives, especially those in other households. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Zoom memorial, pleas for caution, stressed hospitals: News from around our 50 states," 13 Nov. 2020 Resort operators are trying to lure back skiers and persuade them to take that risk by offering new ways to ski, as well as safety measures that offer peace of mind. Jen Murphy, WSJ, "What’s New for Skiers This Season Amid Coronavirus," 13 Nov. 2020 And sometimes the instantly identifiable music puts across enough energy to persuade you that could actually happen. Mikael Wood,, "Review: The relentless rockitude of AC/DC in new ‘Power Up’," 12 Nov. 2020

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for persuade

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for persuade

Last Updated

16 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Persuade.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for persuade


How to pronounce persuade (audio)

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 How to pronounce persuade (audio) \
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.

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