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

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 The departure of Ruth Bader Ginsburg or Stephen Breyer, liberal justices respectively aged 85 and 79, could give Mr Trump an opportunity to move the Court to a 6-3 conservative majority. The Economist, "A court with a solid conservative majority could reshape American life," 5 July 2018 Union leaders denounced the court decision, accusing the conservative majority of merely protecting business interests. Stephen Singer, courant.com, "Connecticut Drops Worker Fees In Response To U.S. Supreme Court Ruling," 2 July 2018 All the people on the list have been vetted by conservative legal organizations and are seen as likely to change the balance of the court. Emily Cochrane And Michael D. Shear, BostonGlobe.com, "Trump says he has short list for Supreme Court, will reveal his pick on July 9," 30 June 2018 The Judicial Crisis Network, a conservative political campaign organization, launched a seven-figure ad buy Wednesday, aimed at vulnerable Democrats, said chief counsel and policy director Carrie Severino. CBS News, "Supreme Court nomination, confirmation process likely to mimic Gorsuch playbook," 29 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Already 13 Senate Republicans, ranging from moderates such as Susan Collins (Maine) to solid conservatives such as Tim Scott (S.C.), urged Trump in a letter to send them the treaty amendment. Dino Grandoni, Washington Post, "The Energy 202: Republicans can't agree on this climate deal brokered by Obama," 12 July 2018 Kavanaugh has a track record of siding with religious organizations over governments and other groups that challenge them, a particularly attractive trait to conservatives. CBS News, "Judge Brett Kavanaugh named Trump's second Supreme Court justice - live updates," 9 July 2018 The 53-year-old judge, who sits on the powerful U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, has the best credentials as well as some big risks, according to conservatives eagerly awaiting Trump's decision. Richard Wolf, USA TODAY, "For President Trump, Supreme Court nomination may hinge on Brett Kavanaugh's risks and rewards," 6 July 2018 The Miers reference is telling, since those trying to derail Kavanaugh hope to emulate the successful 2005 conservative campaign to force her withdrawal by Bush, leading to the deeply satisfying-to-conservatives substitution of Samuel Alito. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Kavanaugh Remains SCOTUS Front-runner Despite Right-Wing Backlash," 5 July 2018 The Supreme Court handed down victory after victory to conservatives this term. Eric Posner And Glen Weyl, Vox, "The Supreme Court is an anti-democratic nightmare. Here’s how to fix it.," 29 June 2018 Dorsey has been reaching out to conservatives such as Sean Hannity, Ted Cruz, and Mercedes Schlapp in an attempt to hear out their viewpoints and convince them of Twitter’s neutrality as a platform. Emma Scornavacchi, The New Republic, "Twitter tries to win the trust of conservatives over secretive dinners.," 27 June 2018 Frederica Wilson and Debbie Wasserman Schultz voted against the bill because of its concessions to conservatives, along with every Democrat in the House of Representatives. Alex Daugherty, miamiherald, "Immigration bill brokered by Miami Republicans fails," 27 June 2018 Of course, now there is a movement afoot among conservatives to keep those plastics flowing for freedom. Alexis C. Madrigal, The Atlantic, "Disposable America," 21 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

18 Sep 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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