"lead to the opinion or conclusion (that), make (one) believe or think, successfully urge the acceptance or practice of," 1510s, from French persuader (14c.), from Latin persuadere "to bring over by talking," (see persuasion). From 1530s as "prevail upon, as by demonstration, arguments, etc." Related: Persuaded; persuading.
c. 1400, "plausible, convincing, having the power to persuade," from Latin persuasibilis "convincing, persuasive," from past-participle stem of persuadere (see persuade). The sense of "capable of being persuaded" is from c. 1500, and the older sense then became obsolete. Related: Persuasibility.
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.
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]