Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun 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.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun (medieval Spain and Portugal) a Jew or Moor who professed to convert to Christianity in order to avoid persecution or expulsion

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Spanish, a convert, from converso, converted, from Medieval Latin conversus, from Latin, past participle of convertere, to turn around, convert; see convert.]

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