The word "convict" as synonym for "convince"

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irjemmy

Senior Member
English
Hi all,

the original sentence reads:

He felt guilty and was convicted to change.


I see where the word choice comes from as Merriam-Webster also defines it as "to convince of error or sinfulness", but I find it a little clumsy and heavy-handed, as googling finds its usage in the frequent company of religious exhortations.

Not to mention the infraction that caused the guilt in the first place is of no consequence, i.e. scolding someone out of turn. I would make the change to the simpler "convince".

Thoughts?
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Hello, Irjemmy. Where did you find this sentence? It looks very old-fashioned to me. I've noticed that M-W's unabridged dictionary offers many curious, sometimes misleading definitions. The problem with the online version is that many of these definitions don't explain the context in which certain words have been used. M-W's collegiate version is a better source for contemporary English.

    I don't recommend that you use "convicted" as a synonym for "convinced". Many people won't understand you if you do.
     
    Last edited:

    irjemmy

    Senior Member
    English
    Hi owlman5,

    It's found in a book I'm proofreading. Agree with you on M-W. Definitely going with "convinced". "Convicted" comes across as downright puritanical.
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    It really does not work in a modern context as a verb. The verb convicted is used in the context of a criminal being found guilty!

    We do still talk of someone's convictions (as a noun) but that is usually their established belief system, not a new resolution to do something.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    "Convicted" comes across as downright puritanical.
    For BE it comes down as bizarre - convict to mean convince is certainly not a current meaning and if it is archaic then it is sufficiently obscure and ancient not to get a mention in the COED.
     

    Welshie

    Senior Member
    England, English
    It's a somewhat religious usage. If someone is "convicted" of his sin it means that he realises that what he is doing is a sin and decides to stop doing it.
     
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