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n. pl. Con·ver·sos
A Spanish or Portuguese Jew who converted outwardly to Christianity in the late Middle Ages so as to avoid persecution or expulsion, though often continuing to practice Judaism in secret.

[Spanish, a convert, from converso, converted, from Medieval Latin conversus, from Latin, past participle of convertere, to turn around, convert; see convert.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


a medieval Spanish Jew who converted to Catholicism, usually in order to avoid persecution from either the Spanish Inquisition or the Portugese Inquisition
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Converso - (medieval Spain and Portugal) a Jew or Moor who professed to convert to Christianity in order to avoid persecution or expulsion
convert - a person who has been converted to another religious or political belief
Marrano - (medieval Spain and Portugal) a disparaging term for a Jew who converted to Christianity in order to avoid persecution but continued to practice their religion secretly
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
Now this conversation in our historian must be universal, that is, with all ranks and degrees of men; for the knowledge of what is called high life will not instruct him in low; nor, e converso , will his being acquainted with the inferior part of mankind teach him the manners of the superior.
The 1492 Edict of Expulsion was instituted mainly to eliminate the influence of practicing Jews on Spain's large converso population and ensure they did not revert to Judaism.
An embodiment of philological as well as zoological hybridity, the alborayco is a multilayered allegory for converso heterodoxy, which, as this article demonstrates, functioned as a harbinger of the Apocalypse.
The second section, "Conversos and the Threat of Sameness" traces how pro-establishment discourses constructed ideas of ethnic and religious difference and applied them to the ambiguous converso subjects, who by the late 1500s had apparently become indistinguishable from Old Christians.
Aridjis brings immediacy to this history by linking the converso Juan Cabezon and other characters to events that contributed to the eclipse of Jewish life in Spain, and also by incorporating fragments of primary documents such as chronicles, firsthand accounts, and royal and Inquisition decrees.
That same year, Christopher Columbus set sail for America, and with him went Luis de Torres, an interpreter and a converso, a man forced by the Inquisition to convert to Catholicism while still secretly practicing the Jewish faith.
In that year, a charitable confraternity (cofradia de la Caridad) routed their procession of the Virgin through the converso neighborhood of the city.
Ademas, los personajes de Lazaro y el simio son el testimonio del autor que los ha creado y surgen del sentimiento de desarraigo en que viven Franz Kafka y el autor converso.
'Humayo' edged out films like Mike Mills' '20th Century Women,' Elena Martin's 'Julia Ist,' Ben Wheatley's 'Free Fire' and David Arratibel's 'Converso' in the public voting.