proselytize

play
verb pros·e·ly·tize \ˈprä-s(ə-)lə-ˌtīz\

Definition of proselytize

proselytized

;

proselytizing

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to induce someone to convert to one's faith

  3. 2 :  to recruit someone to join one's party, institution, or cause

  4. transitive verb
  5. :  to recruit or convert especially to a new faith, institution, or cause

proselytization

play \ˌprä-s(ə-)lə-tə-ˈzā-shən, ˌprä-sə-ˌlī-tə-\ noun

proselytizer

play \ˈprä-s(ə-)lə-ˌtī-zər\ noun

proselytize was our Word of the Day on 01/05/2011. Hear the podcast!

Examples of proselytize in a Sentence

  1. They are a sport-shirted, discomforted lot, pacing, puffing feverishly on cigarettes, perspiring freely and proselytizing furiously. —Nicholas Dawidoff, Sports Illustrated, 19 Aug. 1991

  2. Mormons are urged to use their social contacts with Gentiles to proselytize, by doing such favors as babysitting, running errands, and lending lawnmowers. —Malise Ruthven, Wilson Quarterly, Spring 1991

  3. His prodigious correspondence with twenty-five hundred scientists, politicians, and men of letters … proselytized for his new science of statistics. —Daniel J. Boorstin, The Discoverers, 1983

  4. He uses his position to proselytize for the causes that he supports.

  5. the efforts of early missionaries to proselytize the Native Americans of Minnesota were largely unproductive

Recent Examples of proselytize from the Web

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

Did You Know?

Proselytize comes from the noun proselyte (meaning "a new convert"), which comes from the Late Latin noun proselytus. Proselytus means "stranger" or "alien resident," and comes from a similar Greek word (prosēlytos). When proselytize entered English in the 17th century, it had a distinctly religious connotation and meant simply "to recruit religious converts." This meaning is still common, but today one can also proselytize in a broader sense - recruiting converts to one's political party or pet cause, for example.

Origin and Etymology of proselytize

see 1proselyte


PROSELYTIZE Defined for English Language Learners

proselytize

play
verb

Definition of proselytize for English Language Learners

  • : to try to persuade people to join a religion, cause, or group



Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

conspicuously offensive

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time-traveler-quiz-which-word-came-first
  • Which came first?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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