To try to convert someone to a particular religion, faith, or belief system, often through persistent and forceful persuasion.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



Convert, evangelize, preach, indoctrinate, propagandize.


Deconvert, discourage, dissuade.

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun proselyte, proselytes
Verb proselytizes, proselytized, proselytize, proselytizing
Adjective None
Adverb None

Example Sentences

  • The charismatic preacher tirelessly traveled from town to town, aiming to proselytize and convert those he encountered, fervently delivering passionate sermons, sharing personal testimonies, and employing persuasive rhetoric in his mission to spread his religious message far and wide.

  • The political candidate’s speeches sounded more like attempts to proselytize his supporters than to present his policy platform.

  • Many people feel uncomfortable when strangers approach them on the street and try to proselytize their religious beliefs.

  • It’s not effective to proselytize people about your beliefs if you’re not open to listening to their perspectives as well.


The word “proselytize” is derived from the Greek word “proselytos,” which means “convert.” It is often used in a religious context, where it refers to the act of attempting to persuade someone to convert to a particular faith or belief system. However, the term can also be used in a broader sense, to refer to any attempt to convert or persuade someone to a particular viewpoint or cause.

In a religious context, proselytizing can be seen as an attempt to share one’s faith with others and bring them into the fold of a particular religious community. It is often associated with evangelical Christians who actively seek to convert others to their beliefs.

In its usage, “proselytize” often has a negative connotation, as it implies a forceful or manipulative attempt to convert someone. For example, if someone is constantly trying to convince others to follow a particular religion, even if they are not interested, they may be described as “proselytizing.” Similarly, if a politician is seen as more interested in convincing people to support their platform than in listening to their concerns, they may be accused of proselytizing.

“Proselytize” is often used with the prefix “proselyte,” which refers to someone who has been converted to a particular faith or belief system. For example, a person who was formerly agnostic but has converted to Christianity may be described as a “proselyte.” In addition, the suffix “-ization” can be added to “proselytize” to create the noun “proselytization,” which refers to the act of attempting to convert someone.

It is worth noting that there is a fine line between proselytizing and simply sharing one’s beliefs with others. While some people may view sharing one’s beliefs as a harmless or even positive thing to do, others may feel that it crosses a boundary and is inappropriate or unwelcome. The key is to be respectful of others’ beliefs and to recognize that not everyone may share your views or be interested in hearing about them. Overall, “proselytize” is a word with strong connotations, and it should be used with caution to avoid giving the impression of forcefulness or coercion.