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

The respective studios backing the two new titles are being more conservative in their estimates. Pamela Mcclintock, The Hollywood Reporter, "Box-Office Preview: 'Hotel Transylvania 3' Could Topple Dwayne Johnson's 'Skyscraper'," 12 July 2018 Jim Jordan’s Ohio State troubles are not the forefront of Garrett’s campaign As Jordan, the ultra-conservative Freedom Caucus founder, remains in headlines, Garrett has been growing a national presence. Tara Golshan, Vox, "Meet the Democrat trying to unseat scandal-plagued Rep. Jim Jordan in his heavily Republican district," 11 July 2018 The conventional wisdom is that struggling small towns should appeal to a nostalgic time when America was more conservative, more Christian and simpler – not stranger. Joseph P. Laycock, Smithsonian, "A Search for Mysteries and Monsters in Small Town America," 11 July 2018 Kavanaugh’s rulings are considered solidly conservative and Trump made comments during his presidential campaign about appointing justices that would overturn Roe v. Wade. Aubrey Nagle, Philly.com, "Local Dems oppose SCOTUS pick, school board hosts first public meeting | Morning Newsletter," 10 July 2018 Soltz said his group complies with the law and operates under the same rules as conservative organizations. Fredreka Schouten, USA TODAY, "Exclusive: Secret money funds more than 40% of outside congressional ads," 12 July 2018 Four years later, in Shelby County v. Holder, the court’s conservative majority returned to finish the job. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "How the Supreme Court Kills Roe v. Wade," 11 July 2018 If he is replaced by President Trump's nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, the ideological balance of the high court will almost certainly shift to the right — cementing a solid 5-4 conservative majority for many years to come. NBC News, "How Brett Kavanaugh could change the high court's balance of power," 10 July 2018 But now McConnell and his GOP colleagues want someone in Justice Kennedy’s seat before a potential blue-wave election; some believe another conservative justice could even rev up the party’s base and improve voter turnout. Mackenzie Long, Teen Vogue, "Brett Kavanaugh Announced as President Trump's Supreme Court Nominee," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And in fact, the late campaign against him came largely from the right, with conservatives casting doubt on his decisions on Obamacare, in particular. Aaron Blake, Washington Post, "Brett Kavanaugh’s remarkably political intro speech," 10 July 2018 In 2014, Kennedy agreed with the Supreme Court's conservatives that the government cannot compel corporations with religious objections to provide free birth control to their employees. Richard Wolf, USA TODAY, "Will Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh deliver the change conservatives crave?," 10 July 2018 On net neutrality, Kavanaugh, sided with conservatives, dissenting when courts upheld Obama’s net-neutrality regulations. Katherine Nails, Philly.com, "Brett Kavanaugh: Fast facts about Trump's Supreme Court nominee," 9 July 2018 Corporate spending in elections: Citizens United v. FEC, 2010 Kennedy sided with the court's conservatives to rule that the government cannot limit corporate spending in elections under the First Amendment. CBS News, "Judge Brett Kavanaugh named Trump's second Supreme Court justice - live updates," 9 July 2018 The reasons for voting with the five conservatives on the Court look all the more flimsy now that Kennedy is retiring. David Fontana, Vox, "Justice Sotomayor is poised to lead the minority wing of the Supreme Court," 6 July 2018 More often, the chief justice has joined with other conservatives to move the law distinctly to the right. Brent Kendall, WSJ, "Chief Justice Roberts Moves to Man in the Middle on the Supreme Court," 2 July 2018 And he's already filled the lower Courts with like-minded conservatives. NBC News, "Meet the Press - July 1, 2018," 1 July 2018 That standoff reflects the difficult politics of migration with Bavarian conservatives facing a strong challenge from the far-right, anti-immigration party Alternative for Germany in state elections in October. BostonGlobe.com, "Angela Merkel says migration could make or break the EU," 29 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

2 Oct 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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