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 Conservative : 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 Conservative : 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 Conservative : a member or supporter of a conservative political party
2a : one who adheres to traditional methods or views
b : a cautious or discreet person

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 Republican lawmakers now hope the court's 6-3 conservative majority will reconsider the core constitutional question in Roe when ruling in one of the cases before it. Matthew Brown, USA TODAY, 17 Nov. 2021 But increasingly the moral panic over pedophile rings and human trafficking was taking up more and more space in mainstream conservative politics. Washington Post, 11 Nov. 2021 Despite serving only one term in office, Donald Trump was able to appoint three Justices to the Supreme Court, giving it a six-member conservative majority. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, 11 Nov. 2021 Members of the court's conservative majority suggested that requiring Texas to accommodate the inmate's request could lead to a string of cases seeking other accommodations. The Associated. Press, Arkansas Online, 10 Nov. 2021 The conservative-majority court was scheduled to hear the case Dec. 7 and issue a ruling by next summer. Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle, 10 Nov. 2021 Matt Ford has written, the Supreme Court’s conservative majority may one day use to eviscerate the administrative state. Timothy Noah, The New Republic, 9 Nov. 2021 Members of the court's conservative majority suggested during arguments Tuesday that requiring Texas to grant the inmate's request could lead to a string of cases asking for other accommodations. Jessica Gresko, ajc, 9 Nov. 2021 Eledge is active in conservative politics and is president of the Anchorage Republican Women’s Club. Emily Goodykoontz, Anchorage Daily News, 6 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Allard, a conservative, is a vocal member of the group and has consistently voted against implementing pandemic restrictions in Anchorage. Emily Goodykoontz, Anchorage Daily News, 18 Nov. 2021 That operation was funded at least in part by Susan Gore, a wealthy conservative and an heiress to the Gore-Tex fortune, according to people familiar with her role. New York Times, 11 Nov. 2021 For Duque, who fashions himself a law-and-order conservative, standing up for cannabis in a country that has been the linchpin of the U.S.-led drug war for decades is more than a little out of character. Joseph Krauss, ajc, 9 Nov. 2021 The brief was filed on behalf of J. Michael Luttig, a conservative who used to serve on the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals. Ariane De Vogue, CNN, 29 Oct. 2021 Mapmakers jutted her property into a northern offshoot of a district that encompasses all of deep southern Illinois, setting up a potential primary with Bost, a solid conservative in a ruby red voting region. Rick Pearson, chicagotribune.com, 29 Oct. 2021 The plot would see Diane deem the political differences with Kurt too glaring to bridge, leading her to also leave the firm and start a new one with Julius (Michael Boatman), a Black conservative. Angelica Jade Bastién, Vulture, 20 Oct. 2021 In the seventies, with the Soviets beaten in the race to the moon, and Richard Nixon, a fiscal conservative, in charge, public appetite for costly space exploration diminished, and government spending began to flow away from the Apollo program. Neima Jahromi, The New Yorker, 14 Oct. 2021 But Smith, a Bible-thumping conservative, was wary. Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times, 5 Oct. 2021

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

Learn More About conservative

Time Traveler for conservative

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near conservative

conservatist

conservative

Conservative Baptist

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for conservative

Last Updated

1 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Conservative.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/conservative. Accessed 4 Dec. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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 entry 1

Other Words from conservative

conservatively adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on conservative

Nglish: Translation of conservative for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of conservative for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

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!