AskDefine | Define conviction

Dictionary Definition



1 an unshakable belief in something without need for proof or evidence [syn: strong belief, article of faith]
2 (criminal law) a final judgment of guilty in a criminal case and the punishment that is imposed; "the conviction came as no surprise" [syn: judgment of conviction, condemnation, sentence] [ant: acquittal]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. A firmly held belief.
  2. A judgement of guilt in a court of law.
  3. The state of being found or proved guilty.
  4. The state of being convinced.


firmly held belief
judgement of guilt

Related terms

Extensive Definition

In law, a conviction is the verdict that results when a court of law finds a defendant guilty of a crime.
The opposite of a conviction is an acquittal (i.e. "not guilty"). (In Scotland and in the Netherlands there is also a third verdict of "not proven", which counts as an acquittal.)
For a host of reasons, the criminal justice system is not perfect and sometimes guilty defendants are acquitted while innocent people are convicted. Appeal mechanisms mitigate this problem to some extent. An error that results in the conviction of an innocent person is a miscarriage of justice.
After a defendant is convicted, the court determines the appropriate sentence as a punishment. Further, the conviction may lead to results beyond the terms of the sentence itself. Such ramifications are known as the collateral consequences of criminal charges. However the defendant must be 18 years old in all states except in Alaska (where in Alaska the age is 21) to be convicted. If the defendant is under the age of 18 (or 21 in Alaska) the conviction is concidered a minor conviction.
A minor conviction is concidered, in a term, a warning conviction, and it does not effect the defendant, but serves as a warning.
An accused's history of convictions are called antecedents, known colloquially as "previous" in the UK and "priors" in the United States and Australia.
conviction in Lithuanian: Kalinimas

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

anathematizing, arrogance, aspiration, assumption, assurance, assured faith, assuredness, belief, censure, certainty, certitude, cheerful expectation, cocksureness, condemnation, confidence, confidentness, courage, damnation, death sentence, death warrant, denouncement, denunciation, dependence, desire, doctrine, dogma, doom, doomed hope, excommunication, expectation, eye, fair prospect, faith, feeling, fervent hope, fixed opinion, good cheer, good hope, great expectations, guilty verdict, high hopes, hope, hopeful prognosis, hopefulness, hopes, hoping, hoping against hope, hubris, implicit belief, judgment, mature judgment, mind, opinion, overconfidence, oversureness, overweening, overweeningness, persuasion, poise, pomposity, position, positiveness, prayerful hope, presumption, pride, promise, proscription, prospect, prospects, rap, reliance, sanguine expectation, security, self-assurance, self-confidence, self-importance, self-reliance, sentence, sentiment, settled belief, settled judgment, staunch belief, steadfast faith, subjective certainty, sureness, surety, tenet, trust, unshaken confidence, verdict of guilty, view, well-grounded hope
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