conservative

1 of 2

adjective

con·​ser·​va·​tive kən-ˈsər-və-tiv How to pronounce conservative (audio)
1
a
: 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
2
a
: 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
4
conservatively adverb
conservativeness noun

conservative

2 of 2

noun

1
a
: an adherent or advocate of political conservatism
b
Conservative : a member or supporter of a conservative political party
2
a
: one who adheres to traditional methods or views
b
: a cautious or discreet person

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
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
But shouldn’t having, even under the most conservative measure, the highest maternal death rate among industrialized countries be enough to motivate action? Eugene Declercq, STAT, 12 July 2024 The other man lives in this very redneck, conservative Southern Baptist community. Steve Rothaus, Sun Sentinel, 12 July 2024
Noun
Reagan telephoned conservatives in key states to assure them that his choice of running mate did not amount to selling out. Frederic J. Frommer, Washington Post, 11 July 2024 Many young conservatives also support student loan cancellation, with 49% of Gen Z and millennial Republicans surveyed saying some or all outstanding education debt should be erased. Annie Nova,genna Contino, CNBC, 10 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for conservative 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'conservative.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

Middle English conservatif "tending to protect or preserve," borrowed from Middle French & Late Latin; Middle French, borrowed from Late Latin conservātīvus, from Latin conservātus, past participle of conservāre "to save or keep from danger, preserve, keep unchanged" + -īvus -ive — more at conserve entry 1

Noun

derivative of conservative entry 1

First Known Use

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

Noun

1831, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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

Dictionary Entries Near conservative

Cite this Entry

“Conservative.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/conservative. Accessed 22 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

conservative

1 of 2 adjective
con·​ser·​va·​tive kən-ˈsər-vət-iv How to pronounce conservative (audio)
1
: tending to conserve or preserve
2
: of or relating to conservatism
3
: tending to preserve existing views, conditions, or institutions : traditional
4
: cautious, moderate
a conservative estimate
5
: being in agreement with the usual standards of taste or manners
a conservative suit
conservatively adverb
conservativeness noun

conservative

2 of 2 noun
: a person who is conservative especially in politics

Medical Definition

conservative

adjective
con·​ser·​va·​tive kən-ˈsər-vət-iv How to pronounce conservative (audio)
: 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
conservatively adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on conservative

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