Legal Dictionary


Definition of convict


    From Anglo-Norman convicter, from Latin convictus, the past participle of convincere 'convict'

Pronunciation 1

  • AHD: kən'vĭkt, IPA: /kənˈvɪkt/, SAMPA: /"k@nvIkt/
  • Audio (US) [?]
  • Rhymes: -ɪkt


convict (third-person singular simple present convicts, present participle convicting, simple past and past participle convicted)

  1. (transitive) To find guilty
    1. as a result of legal proceedings, about of a crime
    2. informally, notably in a moral sense; said about both perpetrator and act.


Related terms

Pronunciation 2

  • (RP) IPA: /ˈk'nvɪkt/ ; SAMPA: /"kQnvIkt
  • (US) AHD: kŏn'vĭkt; IPA: /ˈkɑnvɪkt/ ; SAMPA: /"kAnvIkt/
  • Audio (US) [?]


convict (plural convicts)

  1. (law) A person convicted of a crime by a judicial body.
  2. A person deported to a penal colony.


  • (person convicted of crime): assigned servant, con, government man, public servant
  • (person deported to a penal colony): penal colonist

Further reading

A convict is "a person found guilty of a crime and sentenced by a court" or "a person serving a sentence in prison",[1] sometimes referred to in slang as simply a "con".[2] Convicts are often called prisoners or inmates. Persons convicted and sentenced to non-custodial sentences often are not termed "convicts". Ex-convict (or short: ex-con) is a common way of referring to a person who has been released from prison.

The legal label of "ex-convict" has much wider lifelong implications, so the person may suffer long-term handicaps and social stigma, including restricting access to certain categories of employment. In the Australian context, the Federal government generally will not employ an ex-convict, but some other state organizations may or may not have a time limit restricting employment.


  1. Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language, p. 311 (2d Coll. Ed. 1978).
  2. Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language, p. 292 (2d Coll. Ed. 1978).


  1. Wiktionary. Published under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.


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