To persuade or convert someone to a particular religious or political belief.


US English

UK English

Part of speech



Convert, evangelize, preach, indoctrinate, recruit, brainwash


Deconvert, apostatize, renounce, abandon, reject

Example sentences

  • The pastor would often go door to door to proselytize to his neighbors.
  • Some religious organizations send missionaries to remote areas to proselytize to the locals.
  • The political party launched a campaign to proselytize its message to the youth voters.
  • The new employee tried to proselytize his colleagues to join his multi-level marketing scheme.


The word “proselytize” comes from the Greek word “proselytos,” which means “convert” or “newcomer.” It is often used in the context of religion or politics, where one seeks to convert others to their beliefs or ideology.

In religious contexts, proselytizing is common among faiths that place importance on evangelism, such as Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. Missionaries may travel to different parts of the world to proselytize to people who are unfamiliar with their faith. However, proselytizing is not limited to organized religion and can also refer to the act of trying to persuade someone to join a particular social or political movement.

Proselytizing is often seen as controversial because it involves imposing one’s beliefs on others, which can lead to conflict and division. In some cases, proselytizing may be seen as disrespectful or intrusive, especially when it involves targeting vulnerable individuals or communities. However, others argue that proselytizing is a fundamental right and that sharing one’s beliefs can help spread awareness and promote understanding.

The verb “proselytize” can be modified with various prefixes and suffixes to create related words. For example, the adjective “proselytizing” describes the act of attempting to convert someone, while the noun “proselytizer” refers to a person who engages in proselytizing