conservative

adjective
con·​ser·​va·​tive | \ kən-ˈsər-və-tiv How to pronounce conservative (audio) \

Definition of conservative

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : of or relating to a philosophy of conservatism
b capitalized : of or constituting a political party professing the principles of conservatism: such as
(1) : of or constituting a party of the United Kingdom advocating support of established institutions
2a : tending or disposed to maintain existing views, conditions, or institutions : traditional conservative policies
b : marked by moderation or caution a conservative estimate
c : marked by or relating to traditional norms of taste, elegance, style, or manners a conservative suit a conservative architectural style
3 : of, relating to, or practicing Conservative Judaism

conservative

noun

Definition of conservative (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : an adherent or advocate of political conservatism
b capitalized : a member or supporter of a conservative political party
2a : one who adheres to traditional methods or views
b : a cautious or discreet person

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from conservative

Adjective

conservatively adverb
conservativeness noun

Examples of conservative in a Sentence

Adjective

She is a liberal Democrat who married a conservative Republican. She's more conservative now than she was in college.

Noun

His message is being well received by conservatives. proposed legislation that was opposed by conservatives throughout the state
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Sometimes conservative treatments aren’t enough to resolve some of the above conditions, in which case surgical intervention may be necessary. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "What the Hell Is a Sitz Bath? (And Why Would You Take One?)," 14 Mar. 2019 But Trump, along with other conservative politicians, has argued that web companies are given too much freedom to control what appears on their platforms. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "Donald Trump’s lawyer asks Supreme Court to hear a case that could weaken web platforms’ legal protections," 24 Oct. 2018 The lawsuit lays out what Damore and Gudeman believe is a pattern of anti-conservative bias by Google. Eric Bangeman, Ars Technica, "Talk amongst yourselves: 2018’s most-commented stories on Ars," 24 Dec. 2018 That way a conservative state Supreme Court justice up for a re-election vote in April wouldn’t be swamped by an anti-Trump wave. WSJ, "About Those GOP State ‘Coups’," 6 Dec. 2018 Early poll numbers show Cruz has a notable lead over O’Rourke in a very conservative state, but Cruz has spent just $424,000 on Facebook ads since May, according to the data. Kurt Wagner, Recode, "Facebook’s top political ad spender is ... Facebook," 23 Oct. 2018 According to a 2017 Gallup poll, Utah is also one of the most conservative states; in general elections, Utah has consistently gone red since 1968, when Richard Nixon won the presidency. Savannah Behrmann, Teen Vogue, "Derek Kitchen, the Man Who Helped Legalize Gay Marriage in Utah, Is Running for State Senate," 4 Oct. 2018 They like that Brett Kavanaugh was appointed a conservative Supreme Court justice. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "What Will Actually Happen to Trump?," 19 Dec. 2018 Not only has the crucial swing vote, Justice Kennedy, since been replaced with the more conservative justice Brett Kavanaugh, but the executive branch's opinion on affirmative action has completely changed. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "A Timeline of the Harvard Affirmative Action Lawsuit," 2 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Alternately, ignoring widespread opposition among his opponents and qualms among conservatives, Mr. Trump could choose to invoke emergency powers as the best way of keeping faith with his core supporters. William A. Galston, WSJ, "Trump’s Pinned to a Wall Few Americans Want," 15 Jan. 2019 Democrat Abigail Spanberger, a former CIA operative, pulled off a big win in Virginia by unseating Republican Rep. Dave Brat, a rising star among conservatives. Mary Jordan, The Seattle Times, "Record number of women appear headed for Congress," 6 Nov. 2018 All of this means the vilifying of Soros among conservatives has gained traction, despite being proven false time and time again. Jameelah Nasheed, Teen Vogue, "After Years of George Soros Conspiracy Theories, Someone Targeted His Home with an Explosive Device," 23 Oct. 2018 The program has come under criticism for leniency and because of questions over whether the teen completed the program, particularly among conservatives. Terry Spencer, BostonGlobe.com, "Official says Florida shooting suspect’s mom let him buy gun," 11 July 2018 The 53-year-old judge, who clerked for Justice Kennedy, arrives with a stellar reputation among conservatives, and gives Republicans the potential to change the balance of the court for years to come, reports CBS News' Jan Crawford. CBS News, "Brett Kavanaugh's views on presidential power could become focus with ongoing Russia probe," 10 July 2018 Many of Kavanaugh’s other rulings will spark delight among conservatives and dismay among liberals. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "A Watershed Moment in American History," 10 July 2018 The program has come under criticism for leniency and because of questions over whether the teen completed the program, particularly among conservatives. Terry Spencer, chicagotribune.com, "Official: Parkland school shooting suspect's mom let him buy gun," 10 July 2018 Another, with slightly better odds of passage, is a compromise that came from long talks among House conservatives and centrists and the White House. Philip Elliott, Time, "Republicans in Congress Search for an Immigration Bill to End Border Crisis," 20 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'conservative.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of conservative

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

Noun

1831, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for conservative

Adjective

see conserve entry 1

Noun

see conserve entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about conservative

Share conservative

Statistics for conservative

Last Updated

20 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for conservative

The first known use of conservative was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for conservative

conservative

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of conservative

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: believing in the value of established and traditional practices in politics and society : relating to or supporting political conservatism
: of or relating to the conservative party in countries like the United Kingdom and Canada
: not liking or accepting changes or new ideas

conservative

noun

English Language Learners Definition of conservative (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person who believes in the value of established and traditional practices in politics and society : a person who is politically conservative
: a member or supporter of a conservative political party in countries like the United Kingdom and Canada

conservative

adjective
con·​ser·​va·​tive | \ kən-ˈsər-və-tiv How to pronounce conservative (audio) \

Kids Definition of conservative

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : favoring a policy of keeping things as they are : opposed to change
2 : favoring established styles and standards He wears conservative ties.
3 : likely to be lower than what the real amount or number is a conservative estimate

Other Words from conservative

conservatively adverb

conservative

noun

Kids Definition of conservative (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person who is opposed to change : a cautious person

conservative

adjective
con·​ser·​va·​tive | \ kən-ˈsər-vət-iv How to pronounce conservative (audio) \

Medical Definition of conservative

: not extreme or drastic especially : designed to preserve parts or restore or preserve function conservative treatment of prostate cancer by watchful waiting or hormonal therapy in contrast to radical prostatectomy — compare aggressive sense 3, radical

Other Words from conservative

conservatively adverb

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on conservative

What made you want to look up conservative? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a shady place in a garden or forest

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!