1520s, "to overcome in argument," from Latin convincere "to overcome decisively," from assimilated form of com-, here perhaps an intensive prefix (see com-), + vincere "to conquer" (from nasalized form of PIE root *weik- (3) "to fight, conquer"). Meaning "to firmly persuade or satisfy by argument or evidence" is from c. 1600. Related: Convinced; convincing; convincingly.
To convince a person is to satisfy his understanding as to the truth of a certain statement; to persuade him is, by derivation, to affect his will by motives; but it has long been used also for convince, as in Luke xx. 6, "they be persuaded that John was a prophet." There is a marked tendency now to confine persuade to its own distinctive meaning. [Century Dictionary, 1897]
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to fight, conquer."
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Latin victor "a conqueror," vincere "to conquer, overcome, defeat;" Lithuanian apveikiu, apveikti "to subdue, overcome;" Old Church Slavonic veku "strength, power, age;" Old Norse vigr "able in battle," Old English wigan "fight;" Welsh gwych "brave, energetic," Old Irish fichim "I fight," second element in Celtic Ordovices "those who fight with hammers."
mid-14c., "to convince by arguments, convince of wrongdoing or sin" (a sense now obsolete), from Latin convictus, past participle of convincere "to 'overcome' in argument, to overcome decisively; to convict of crime or error," from assimilated form of com-, here perhaps an intensive prefix (see com-), + vincere "to conquer" (from nasalized form of PIE root *weik- (3) "to fight, conquer").
Meaning "prove or find guilty of an offense charged" is from late 14c. It replaced Old English verb oferstælan. Related: Convicted; convicting.
late 14c., "approvable, worthy of praise or admiration" (a sense now obsolete); c. 1400, "that can be proved, capable of being demonstrated," from Old French provable, from prover "show; convince; put to the test" (see prove (v.)). Related: Provably; provability; provableness.
"prove to be false or erroneous," late 14c., from Old French desprover "refute, contradict," from des- (see dis-) + prover "show; convince; put to the test" (see prove). Related: Disproved; disproving; disprovable. Middle English also had dispreven, from Old French desprover, with substitution of prefix.
According to Wiktionary, "The verb sense derives from the 1938 stage play Gas Light, in which a husband attempts to convince his wife and others that she is insane by manipulating small elements of their environment."
Meanings "power to convince the mind" and "power exerted against will or consent" are from mid-14c. Meaning "body of armed men, a military organization" first recorded late 14c. (also in Old French). Physics sense is from 1660s; force field attested by 1920. Related: Forces.
late 14c., persuasioun, "action of inducing (someone) to believe (something) by appeals to reason (not by authority, force, or fear); an argument to persuade, inducement," from Old French persuasion (14c.) and directly from Latin persuasionem (nominative persuasio) "a convincing, persuading," noun of action from past-participle stem of persuadere "persuade, convince," from per "thoroughly, strongly" (see per) + suadere "to urge, persuade," from PIE root *swād- "sweet, pleasant" (see sweet (adj.)).
Meaning "state of being convinced" is from 1530s; that of "religious belief, creed" is from 1620s. Colloquial or humorous sense of "kind, sort, nationality" is by 1864.