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From Old French convertir, from Latin converto (turn around).





convert (third-person singular simple present converts, present participle converting, simple past and past participle converted)

  1. (transitive) To transform or change (something) into another form, substance, state, or product.
    A kettle converts water into steam.
  2. (transitive) To change (something) from one use, function, or purpose to another.
    He converted his garden into a tennis court.
    • 1907 August, Robert W[illiam] Chambers, chapter IX, in The Younger Set, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, →OCLC:
      “A tight little craft,” was Austin’s invariable comment on the matron; and she looked it, always trim and trig and smooth of surface like a converted yacht cleared for action. ¶ Near her wandered her husband, orientally bland, invariably affable, [].
  3. (transitive) To induce (someone) to adopt a particular religion, faith, ideology or belief (see also sense 11).
    They converted her to Roman Catholicism on her deathbed.
    • 1855–1858, William H[ickling] Prescott, History of the Reign of Philip the Second, King of Spain, volumes (please specify |volume=I to III), Boston, Mass.: Phillips, Sampson, and Company, →OCLC:
      No attempt was made to convert the Moslems.
    • 1886 October – 1887 January, H[enry] Rider Haggard, She: A History of Adventure, London: Longmans, Green, and Co., published 1887, →OCLC:
      How little chance, then, should I have against one whose brain was supernaturally sharpened, and who had two thousand years of experience, besides all manner of knowledge of the secrets of Nature at her command! Feeling that she would be more likely to convert me than I should to convert her, I thought it best to leave the matter alone, and so sat silent.
    • 1944 September and October, A Former Student, “Some Memories of Crewe Works—I”, in Railway Magazine, page 285:
      One old chap on a huge slotting machine was intensely religious and made great efforts to convert every young man who came his way.
  4. (transitive) To exchange for something of equal value.
    We converted our pounds into euros.
  5. (transitive) To express (a quantity) in alternative units.
  6. (transitive) To express (a unit of measurement) in terms of another; to furnish a mathematical formula by which a quantity, expressed in the former unit, may be given in the latter.
    How do you convert feet into metres?
  7. (transitive, law) To appropriate wrongfully or unlawfully; to commit the common law tort of conversion.
  8. (transitive, intransitive, rugby football) To score extra points after (a try) by completing a conversion.
  9. (transitive or intransitive, soccer) To score (especially a penalty kick).
    • 2011, Jonathan Wilson, Brian Clough: The Biography, →ISBN:
      Hinton, inevitably, converted the penalty.
    • 2013, Mark Worrall, Kelvin Barker, David Johnstone, Making History, Not Reliving It: A Decade of Roman's Rule at Chelsea, →ISBN, page 225:
      However, the lead was doubled after the break, when Branislav Ivanovic converted from close range after Fernando Torres had flicked on.
    • 2016, Alex Crook, Alex Smith, Southampton Greatest Games: Saints' Fifty Finest Matches, →ISBN:
      This time Polish goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski was Saints' penalty shootout hero, saving three spot kicks before centre-back Wayne Thomas converted from 12 yards to seal a 6-5 win.
  10. (intransitive, ten-pin bowling) To score a spare.
  11. (intransitive) To undergo a conversion of religion, faith or belief (see also sense 3).
    • 2009, Irene Silverblatt, “Foreword”, in Andrew B. Fisher, Matthew D. O'hara, editors, Imperial Subjects: Race and Identity in Colonial Latin America, page xi:
      The notion of blood purity was first elaborated in Europe, where it was used to separate Old Christians from Spain’s New Christians—women and men of Jewish and Muslim origin whose ancestors had converted to Christianity.
    We’ve converted to Methodism.
  12. (intransitive) To become converted.
    The chair converts into a bed.
  13. (transitive, obsolete) To cause to turn; to turn.
  14. (transitive, logic) To change (one proposition) into another, so that what was the subject of the first becomes the predicate of the second.
  15. (transitive, obsolete) To turn into another language; to translate.
  16. (transitive, cricket) To increase one's individual score, especially from 50 runs (a fifty) to 100 runs (a century), or from a century to a double or triple century.
    • 2006, Gillespie hails 'fairytale' knock[1], BBC:
      Gillespie was reminded he had promised to join team-mate Matthew Hayden in a nude lap of the ground if he converted his century into a double.
  17. (intransitive, marketing) To perform the action that an online advertisement is intended to induce; to reach the point of conversion.
    Each time a user clicks on one of your adverts, you will be charged the bid amount whether the user converts or not.
  18. (transitive, intransitive, chess) To transform a material or positional advantage into a win.
    • 1994, Andrew Soltis, Frank Marshall, United States Chess Champion, McFarland, Inc, →ISBN, page 262:
      On the final day Marshall won a pawn as Black from another old rival, Hodges, but couldn't convert it and played on until a drawn king-and-pawn endgame.
    • 2012, Daniel Naroditsky, Mastering Complex Endgames, New In Chess, →ISBN, page 56:
      In a serious game, the same event often takes place: the attacking side, out of pure inertia, tries to convert an advantage which he or she no longer has, thus giving the defending side winning chances.
    • 2021, Frank Erwich, 1001 Chess Exercises for Advanced Club Players[2], New In Chess, →ISBN:
      Black has survived the attack and is better due to his active king! Many moves later, he converted.


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The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

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convert (plural converts)

  1. A person who has converted to a religion.
    They were all converts to Islam.
    • 2004, Ted Jones, chapter 3, in The French Riviera: A Literary Guide for Travellers, Tauris Parke Paperbacks, published 2007, →ISBN, page 64:
      While still in this relationship, Greene, a convert to Roman Catholicism at 23, was asked to be godfather to Catherine Walston, a 30-year-old married woman, at her own conversion.
  2. A person who is now in favour of something that he or she previously opposed or disliked.
    I never really liked broccoli before, but now that I've tasted it the way you cook it, I'm a convert!
  3. Anyone who has converted from being one thing to being another.
    • 1911, James George Frazer, The Golden Bough, volume 11, page 207:
      A great advantage of these temporary conversions of a man into a beast is that it enables the convert in his animal shape to pay out his enemy without being suspected.
  4. (Canadian football) The equivalent of a conversion in rugby

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