pros·​e·​ly·​tism | \ ˈprä-sə-ˌlī-ˌti-zəm How to pronounce proselytism (audio) , ˈprä-s(ə-)lə- How to pronounce proselytism (audio) \

Definition of proselytism

1 : the act of becoming or condition of being a proselyte : conversion
2 : the act or process of proselytizing

Examples of proselytism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Whether the converts are repulsed by the violent forms Islam has taken in places like Syria and Afghanistan or are backing up their claims for asylum, the conversions occur quietly and rarely as a result of proselytism. Annabelle Timsit, The Atlantic, "Ukrainian Freedom Fighting and Cambodian Democracy: The Week in Global-Affairs Writing," 22 Sep. 2017

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

First Known Use of proselytism

1649, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about proselytism

Time Traveler for proselytism

Time Traveler

The first known use of proselytism was in 1649

See more words from the same year

Statistics for proselytism

Cite this Entry

“Proselytism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Aug. 2020.

Comments on proselytism

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


Test Your Vocabulary

July 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • papercraft sunset
  • Which is a synonym of mien?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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!