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

An array of liberal and conservative legal experts say Judge O’Connor’s ruling is vulnerable to being overturned on appeal. Brent Kendall, WSJ, "What ACA Ruling May Mean for Millions of Americans’ Health Coverage," 15 Dec. 2018 Lachlan is politically conservative and defends Fox News even as his left-leaning brother James privately professes embarrassment about the channel. Sarah Ellison, The Seattle Times, "Younger Murdoch take the reins. How will he deal with Trump?," 25 Mar. 2019 One of Reagan’s major campaign issues was the now-familiar conservative cry to abolish the Department of Education. Chuck Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "The State of American Trade Schools," 13 Mar. 2019 So after touring the past four decades, is the United States over the past 40 years looking more or less conservative? Robert Sullivan, Vogue, "Political Division? That’s Nothing New," 7 Mar. 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

That case was decided by a 5-4 vote before Gorsuch joined the court, with four conservatives in dissent. Mark Sherman, The Seattle Times, "High court questions courts’ role in partisan redistricting," 26 Mar. 2019 In a meeting with conservatives that day, Mr. Trump was resigned to the fact that his proposal was going to fail, according to those in the meeting. Kristina Peterson, WSJ, "Beyond the Shutdown: The Trump-Pelosi Dynamic Defines Washington," 25 Jan. 2019 What has been your experience in your listening tour, especially with conservatives? Peter Kafka, Recode, "Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey talked to NYU’s Jay Rosen for an hour, on the record. Read and listen to the full interview here.," 14 Sep. 2018 Replacing Scalia with another conservative did not alter the basic ideological balance of the court. Adam Liptak And Maggie Haberman, BostonGlobe.com, "How the White House quietly worked to get Justice Kennedy to move aside," 29 June 2018 The deal ended a dispute that had been going on since the early 1990s but it is opposed by conservatives like Kammenos, who feel that Tsipras gave away too many concessions. Demetris Nellas, The Seattle Times, "Greek PM Tsipras faces confidence vote after minister quits," 13 Jan. 2019 On his sitcom, Last Man Standing, the actor plays Mike Baxter, a supportive husband, dad of three daughters, and a staunch conservative who isn’t afraid to let his opinions be known. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Tim Allen Responds to Criticisms That ‘Last Man Standing’ Is Too Political," 22 Nov. 2018 For Trump, there has been no such tension with Churchill, who is revered by American conservatives for his stalwart leadership of Great Britain during World War II and his role in defeating the Nazis. Washington Post, "Trump attending dinner at birthplace of Winston Churchill," 12 July 2018 Judges who overturn Roe won’t be perceived by conservatives as activists doing away with decades of precedent, but rather as intellectually honest jurists, reading the constitution as intended. Jill Filipovic, Time, "It's Naive to Think a Conservative Supreme Court Wouldn't Target Roe v. Wade," 12 July 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

Statistics for conservative

Last Updated

17 Apr 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

an act or instance of returning to life

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

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!