conservative

adjective
con·​ser·​va·​tive | \kən-ˈsər-və-tiv \

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

(2) : progressive conservative

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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Babies’ heads were completely corrected in 95 percent of those who were given helmet therapy right off the bat, and in 96 percent of babies whose head shape didn’t improve with more conservative therapy. Korin Miller, SELF, "My Son, Like Chrissy Teigen’s, Wore a Corrective Helmet as a Baby for a Flat Spot," 4 Dec. 2018 In June, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine said the FAA was being overly conservative in its safety standards for drones. Joseph Pisani, The Seattle Times, "Where are the drone deliveries? Amazon’s customers are still waiting," 3 Dec. 2018 TVs tend to be much more conservative with their color schemes than phones, making Vizio’s red P-Series a bold statement for anyone who chooses to buy it. Jon Porter, The Verge, "Vizio is making a red TV to raise money for AIDS awareness," 7 Nov. 2018 When the donations are to a group or PAC, CRP designated them as liberal or conservative based on their spending patterns. Rani Molla, Recode, "Silicon Valley’s Democrats aren’t galvanized by Trump any more than Republicans are — if you look at their donation history," 5 Nov. 2018 Here's her original wedding dress: The original dress is more conservative, which is to be expected in any royal wedding. The Editors, Marie Claire, "Princess Eugenie's Zac Posen Second Wedding Dress Was a Totally Different Look," 13 Oct. 2018 Collins has previously expressed concern a more conservative judge on the Supreme Court could threaten Roe v. Wade. Madeline Farber, Fox News, "With Kavanaugh confirmation vote on the line, all eyes on key undecided senators," 28 Sep. 2018 The film is executive produced by Martin Luther King’s conservative niece Alveda King (within the film, MLK himself is falsely depicted as a pro-lifer). Anna Silman, The Cut, "The Pro-Life ‘Roe v. Wade’ Movie Sounds Like a Total Disaster," 13 July 2018 In conservative Utah, patients with conditions such as multiple sclerosis, cancer, and HIV will be now able to receive medical marijuana cards at certain doctors’ offices. Angela Chen, The Verge, "Three states vote in favor of marijuana," 7 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But for McCarthy, that would have meant giving more power to some of the most hardline conservatives in a House Republican conference that has grown smaller and Trumpier after this midterm cycle. Tara Golshan, Vox, "How a small, Trumpy group of House Republicans wants to keep a check on Democrats," 29 Nov. 2018 The conservatives use those alternative facts all the time, and so does Trump. Sean Illing, Vox, "How the media should respond to Trump’s lies," 15 Nov. 2018 The Court’s conservatives agreed with liberals though the ruling may subject cities to more litigation. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Judges vs. Telepathists," 6 Nov. 2018 This week demonstrates that even the conservatives who are retiring this year lack the intestinal fortitude to do so. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Toothless trade resolution demonstrates Congress’s unwillingness to check Trump," 12 July 2018 The ruling bitterly disappointed conservatives who thought Kennedy would be part of a Supreme Court majority to outlaw affirmative action in education. Eric Tucker, Houston Chronicle, "Trump revokes Obama policy using race in school admissions," 3 July 2018 Then, as now, the five conservatives were nominees of Republican presidents, while the four liberals were chosen by Democrats. CBS News, "Chief Justice Roberts, the new man in the middle?," 30 June 2018 In 2016 the court had appeared poised to overturn the 1977 ruling, but Justice Antonin Scalia’s unexpected death left the conservatives one vote short. Fortune, "U.S. Supreme Court Rules Against Unions on Mandatory Fees," 27 June 2018 The conservatives wished to come out of the closet quietly, to get in line with mainstream society, and make no disruptions. Devlyn Camp, Chicago Reader, "History / LGBTQ+ / News What I learned about gay pride from the Mattachine Society," 22 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.

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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

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Last Updated

11 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for conservative

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

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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

Conservative : 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

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 \

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 \

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

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