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

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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 Baker may very well be the last vestige of the more conservative neighborhood councilor, the last traditionalist who draws a hard line between the old-school role of a fix-your-pothole councilor and the executive responsibilities of being mayor. Milton J. Valencia, BostonGlobe.com, "In Dorchester, he’s Frank. In increasingly progressive City Hall, call him Councilor No," 16 Feb. 2020 Instead of chasing a big horsepower number, Ski-Doo took a more conservative approach with the new 850 E-TEC Turbo. David Beard, Car and Driver, "2020 Ski-Doo Summit 850 Turbo Finds Higher Ground," 14 Feb. 2020 Even by the standards of former Spanish colonies, the Philippines has extremely socially conservative laws. The Economist, "Papal power Why the Philippines is the only country where divorce is illegal," 13 Feb. 2020 If anything, the Mavericks set a more conservative timetable this time. Dallas News, "Luka Doncic returns in time to live out All-Star dreams, but his shot at MVP may already be gone," 12 Feb. 2020 UBS Group AG is stepping up efforts to stem the bleeding at its $20 billion flagship real-estate fund amid concerns over its retail holdings, as some investors move away from more conservative, lower-return funds. Konrad Putzier, WSJ, "UBS Scrambles to Stanch Outflows at Flagship Property Fund," 11 Feb. 2020 Trump, for his part, peaked at 98% of very conservative voters and 94% of evangelical white Christians. Gary Langer, ABC News, "Strong liberals lift Sanders, Buttigieg keeps a broad base as NH centrists bring Klobuchar into contention," 11 Feb. 2020 As Madelaine donned a gorgeous plunging velvet green dress with a high slit, Lili kept it more conservative in a nude number covered in pastel flowers. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Cole Sprouse and Lili Reinhart Didn’t Seem to Interact at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party," 10 Feb. 2020 The 48-year-old former commodities trader who was raised in Edinburg in the heavily Democratic Rio Grande Valley grew more conservative as an adult. Andrea Zelinski, ExpressNews.com, "‘So divided we can’t think straight.’ How 26 Texas women view Trump’s impeachment.," 28 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Host Sean Hannity took a different tack on the matter, remarking that Trump supporters and conservatives appear to be treated differently than liberals or Trump critics when under investigation or indictment. Fox News, "Trey Gowdy insists Barr working hard to clean up DOJ despite decision not to charge McCabe," 15 Feb. 2020 The proposal reflects the historic animosity of conservatives and Republicans toward Medicaid, the nation’s largest public health program. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Trump loses in court again on work rules for Medicaid," 14 Feb. 2020 If Kelly wins in April, the conservatives will preserve their 5-2 majority. Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin Supreme Court primary will narrow field to two on Tuesday," 14 Feb. 2020 When liberals call for a nationwide $15 minimum wage, conservatives often offer a half-serious rhetorical response: Why stop there? The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Tom Steyer’s $22 Minimum Wage," 13 Feb. 2020 As a proud democratic socialist, AOC's trolls extend past right-wing conservatives and into her own party, too. Sarah Midkiff, refinery29.com, "Meet The Woman Trying To Unseat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez," 12 Feb. 2020 An example: Most conservatives liked the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that insurers cover people with pre-existing conditions at affordable rates, but hated the requirement that everyone buy insurance. K.n.c., The Economist, "Open Future We can harness peer pressure to uphold social values," 7 Feb. 2020 Most leading conservatives have overlooked Limbaugh’s racist trespasses in order to curry his favor. David Remnick, The New Yorker, "In Honoring Rush Limbaugh, Trump Celebrated Racial Division," 6 Feb. 2020 But RuPaul has always been something of a nostalgist and a small-c conservative—a student of America’s supposed meritocracy rather than a saboteur of it. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "AJ and the Queen Says Drag Will Make America Okay Again," 15 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for conservative

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for conservative

Last Updated

20 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Conservative.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/conservative. Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for conservative

conservative

adjective
How to pronounce conservative (audio)

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

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Comments on conservative

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