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

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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

He was born and raised in Orient, in a tiny house with no electricity or running water, one of 12 children of conservative Catholic parents. Author: Annie Gowen, Anchorage Daily News, "Farmers loyal to Trump struggle with impact of trade war," 24 June 2019 Under his leadership, the small Alpine republic has become a potent voice in European debates on immigration and a broker of compromises between the EU’s liberal western states and its conservative-dominated eastern ones. The Economist, "Europe’s gaseous political alliances," 22 June 2019 The president also reportedly corresponds directly with Fox News hosts like Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity, conservative firebrands who currently host evening programs that routinely praise the president. Jackie Wattles, CNN, "Two Fox News hosts question Trump's comments about Iran: 'This just doesn't add up'," 22 June 2019 Cheney told Hugh Hewitt, a conservative radio host. John Hudson, BostonGlobe.com, "‘We were cocked loaded’: Trump’s account of Iran attack plan facing scrutiny," 22 June 2019 PAUL GOSAR Gosar is a dentist and outspoken conservative urging limited government. Ronald J. Hansen, azcentral, "Who's running for Congress in Arizona? Here are all the 2020 federal candidates," 21 June 2019 The combustible debate, stoked by conservative religion, divided the small town like never before. Chris Kenning, The Courier-Journal, "What a Kentucky town's 20-year struggle with 'Fairness' says about rural LGBTQ rights," 21 June 2019 Director Debora Allen, the board’s fiscal conservative, also hailed the appointment as a major improvement for the transit agency. Rachel Swan, SFChronicle.com, "Newsom appoints inspector general to oversee BART’s finances, safety efforts," 21 June 2019 The conservative wing, supporters of strict and literal interpretation of the Bible, won the battle to control the nation’s largest Protestant denomination. al.com, "Cooperative Baptists, ‘different kind of Baptist,’ meet at BJCC," 21 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But amid the crackdown, the site has faced mounting pressure from conservatives, who say that their posts are being targeted by liberal-leaning tech companies. Danielle Abril, Fortune, "YouTube Finally Bans Supremacist Videos After 14 Years. What Took So Long?," 5 June 2019 In their ongoing quest to trigger liberal snowflakes to run back to their safe spaces, some conservatives — particularly conservative women — have begun a new social media trend to rile those leftists up: plastic straw use. Devon Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Conservatives Attempt to Assert Troll Liberals by Using Plastic Straws," 1 Aug. 2018 The program came under fire from conservatives when President Barack Obama added DACA recipients — young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally — to the list of eligible enlistees. BostonGlobe.com, "Immigrant grad student shocked by abrupt Army discharge," 6 July 2018 Justices Rebecca Bradley, Michael Gableman and Daniel Kelly, all conservatives, disagreed with the court's decision. Molly Beck, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Supreme Court gives win to Tony Evers over Gov. Scott Walker in case challenging authority," 27 June 2018 For this and for other reasons, an outbreak of concerned motherhood from conservatives does not necessarily constitute serious bipartisan opposition to Trump’s policy. Sarah Jones, The New Republic, "Motherhood and the Morality of Trump’s Immigration Policy," 18 June 2018 The president’s deference toward the leader of a repressive military incited criticism in Washington and on social media, including from some conservatives. Tracy Wilkinson, latimes.com, "U.S. seeks to assuage Asian allies and secure China's support after North Korea summit," 14 June 2018 Rauner has regularly drawn criticism from conservatives for supporting other progressive causes. Morgan Greene, chicagotribune.com, "Rauner officiates gay wedding, social conservatives object," 12 July 2018 But while Democrats have been Pruitt’s harshest critics to date, the latest revelations have drawn sharp condemnation from conservatives as well, including former allies who’ve championed his work to roll back Obama-era environmental regulations. Fortune, "President Trump Is 'Not Happy' With EPA's Scott Pruitt," 15 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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Statistics for conservative

Last Updated

26 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 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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