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
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

They like that Brett Kavanaugh was appointed a conservative Supreme Court justice. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "What Will Actually Happen to Trump?," 19 Dec. 2018 Not only has the crucial swing vote, Justice Kennedy, since been replaced with the more conservative justice Brett Kavanaugh, but the executive branch's opinion on affirmative action has completely changed. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "A Timeline of the Harvard Affirmative Action Lawsuit," 2 Nov. 2018 Some crew members were also kept in the dark about cameos from conservative provocateurs Tomi Lahren and Milo Yiannopoulos. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: GOP candidates caught in a bind on Medicaid," 13 July 2018 Also as usual, Amazon’s forecast for the current period was highly conservative, with the midpoints of its revenue and operating earnings projections coming in below Wall Street’s targets. Dan Gallagher, WSJ, "Amazon: A Shiver Runs Through It," 31 Jan. 2019 While Dior dreamed of femme fleurs, Balmain was perfecting the chic, if staid, jolie madame look, which was conservative, correct, and aimed at a mature woman. Cecil Beaton, Vogue, "Gertrude Stein on Pierre Balmain’s 1945 Couture Debut—Plus, a Look Back at the Designer’s Best Looks in Vogue," 22 Jan. 2019 Suddenly, a solid 5-4 conservative majority on the court became likely. Aaron Blake, Washington Post, "Trump is threatening the Western alliance. And Republicans have no will to stop him.," 13 July 2018 The text hadn’t, in fact, come from Donnelly’s office, but from the Judicial Crisis Network, one of the conservative groups campaigning for Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Maureen Groppe, USA TODAY, "How unsolicited text messages were sent to Hoosiers to put pressure on Sen. Joe Donnelly," 13 July 2018 The conservative group is linked to fossil fuel billionaires David and Charles Koch. Zack Colman, Scientific American, "A Trump Oil Boom Could Transform This Rocky Mountain Landscape," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

This second go-round had predictably bad questions from Congresspeople who were more interested in pushing a narrative that Google Search had a bias against conservatives than digging into, well, any of the issues enumerated above. Dieter Bohn, The Verge, "The Verge 2018 tech report card: Google," 26 Dec. 2018 The Senate, meanwhile, is poised to keep confirming Mr. Trump’s judicial nominations, a key priority for conservatives. Andrew Duehren, WSJ, "Republican Rick Scott Wins Senate Race in Florida," 18 Nov. 2018 Up next, Kavanaugh's confirmation is a big victory for conservatives. Fox News, "McConnell on marshalling the votes to confirm Kavanaugh," 7 Oct. 2018 This kind of fear-mongering isn’t new for conservatives. Christianna Silva, Teen Vogue, "Trump's Racist Campaign Ad Shouldn't Shock Anyone," 1 Nov. 2018 Liberals and conservatives often live in different worlds, shop in different stores, eat in different restaurants and consume different media. WSJ, "Voices From a Divided America," 29 Oct. 2018 Within those groups, the researchers seeded social networks, with the same number of liberals and conservatives in each network. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Being reminded of your political bubble can stop you from breaking out," 3 Sep. 2018 After all, family is a fundamental American value to conservatives and liberals alike—there was perhaps nothing more un-American that Trump could do than separating families. Ai-jen Poo, Marie Claire, "How These Small Red-State Towns Are Teaming Up to Support Immigrant Families," 20 Aug. 2018 MacArthur will dump a ton of money and will be able to raise a bunch of money from conservatives. Amy S. Rosenberg, Philly.com, "A female Navy pilot, a pro-gun dentist, the guy Christie told to shut up: New Jersey on national stage in Tuesday's primary," 1 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

20 Feb 2019

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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
: 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 \

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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