Word of the Day Archive
Thursday January 4, 2001
proselytize \PROS-uh-luh-tyz\ , intransitive verb:
1. To induce someone to convert to one's religious faith.
2. To induce someone to join one's institution, cause, or political party.
1. To convert to some religion, system, opinion, or the like.
Jesuit missionaries appeared; the Japanese allowed them to proselytize.
-- Walter LaFeber, The Clash: A History of U.S.-Japan Relations
It has given the world an example of what hard work can do, but in general Japan prefers to focus on its own affairs and let other countries proselytize for democracy, capitalism, communism, or whatever else they believe in.
-- James Fallows, "Containing Japan", The Atlantic, May 1989
He has a message and he wants to proselytize the whole world.
-- William Schneider, "The Republicans in '88", The Atlantic, July 1987
Proselytize is formed from proselyte, "a new convert, especially a convert to some religion or religious sect, or to some particular opinion, system, or party," from Greek proselutos, "a proselyte, a newcomer," from pros, "toward" + elutos, from eluthon, "I came."