tr.v. per·suad·ed, per·suad·ing, per·suades
To cause (someone) to accept a point of view or to undertake a course of action by means of argument, reasoning, or entreaty: "to make children fit to live in a society by persuading them to learn and accept its codes" (Alan W. Watts). See Usage Note at convince.
[Latin persuādēre : per-, per- + suādēre, to urge; see swād- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
Synonyms: persuade, induce, prevail, convince
These verbs mean to succeed in causing a person to do or consent to something. Persuade means to win someone over, as by reasoning or force of personality: Nothing could persuade her to change her mind. To induce is to lead, as to a course of action, by means of influence or persuasion: "Pray what could induce him to commit so rash an action?" (Oliver Goldsmith).
One prevails on somebody who resists: "He had prevailed upon the king to spare them" (Daniel Defoe).
To convince is to persuade by the use of argument or evidence: The salesman convinced me that the car was worth the price.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.