I'm looking for a word that doesn't have such negative connotations as defector, dissident etc, but still implies actively turning from one set of ideas in favour of another.

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    I have a feeling that any such word will have negative connotations: apostate, self-exile, rogue. Your question is somewhat abstract: would 'immigrant' work?
    – Mitch
    Commented Nov 14, 2018 at 12:50

1 Answer 1


Convert might work (as a noun); it can be used to denote somebody who has converted:

1 a : to bring over from one belief, view, or party to another
// They tried to convert us to their way of thinking.

1 : to undergo conversion
// He converted to Islam.

(source: Merriam-Webster)

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