Con"vert(?), n. 1. A person who is converted from one opinion or practice to another; a person who is won over to, or heartily embraces, a creed, religious system, or party, in which he has not previously believed; especially, one who turns from the controlling power of sin to that of holiness, or from unbelief to Christianity.
The Jesuits did not persuade the converts to lay aside the use of images.Bp. Stillingfleet.
2. A lay friar or brother, permitted to enter a monastery for the service of the house, but without orders, and not allowed to sing in the choir.
Syn. -- Proselyte; neophyte. -- Convert, Proselyte, Pervert. A convert is one who turns from what he believes to have been a decided error of faith or practice. Such a change may relate to religion, politics, or other subjects. properly considered, it is not confined to speculation alone, but affects the whole current of one's feelings and the tenor of his actions. As such a change carries with it the appearance of sincerity, the term convert is usually taken in a good sense. Proselyte is a term of more ambiguous use and application. It was first applied to an adherent of one religious system who had transferred himself externally to some other religious system; and is also applied to one who makes a similar transfer in respect to systems of philosophy or speculation. The term has little or no reference to the state of the heart. Pervert is a term of recent origin, designed to express the contrary of convert, and to stigmatize a person as drawn off perverted from the true faith. It has been more particulary applied by members of the Church of England to those who have joined the Roman Catholic Church.
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