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 Miquen was stolid and conservative, largely estranged from his brother’s affections and paintings. Maxwell Carter, WSJ, "‘Venus Betrayed’ Review: The Intimist," 3 Jan. 2020 In both years in Miami, the Dolphins were conservative, as per Wannstedt’s style. Hal Habib, USA TODAY, "Dolphins bring 67-year-old Chan Gailey out of retirement to be offensive coordinator, per reports," 31 Dec. 2019 While Loftus sounds a bit conservative, Sally Eissler at the next table has volunteered for Democratic candidates and favored impeaching a polarizing president. CBS News, "Three meals in Virginia: Voters, split on impeachment, share issues that matter for 2020," 23 Dec. 2019 Sony Pictures is more conservative, predicting a $35 million debut instead. Frank Pallotta, CNN, "Can 'Jumanji: The Next Level' repeat box office history?," 13 Dec. 2019 Flipping the script The chief, John Roberts, traditionally conservative, took a positively progressive viewpoint, urging the landowners’ lawyer to think big picture. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "SCOTUS chief John Roberts sounded almost socialist in a case about toxic waste and landowners," 4 Dec. 2019 The fires come amid increasing divisions about climate change policy in Australia, with the conservative government resisting scientists’ calls to take greater action to reduce carbon emissions. Emily Cadman, Bloomberg.com, "Australia Braces as Bushfire Warning Reaches ‘Catastrophic’," 10 Nov. 2019 The election of Labour leader Harold Wilson in October of 1964 marked a sea change after 13 years of the right-wing conservative party being in power. Emma Dibdin, Town & Country, "7 Predictions For The Crown Season Three," 7 Nov. 2019 Based on my experience, Gore Wear is being too conservative with its sizing recommendation, especially for the U.S. market. Andrew Skurka, Outside Online, "Review: Gore Wear H5 Gore-Tex Shakedry Jacket," 22 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun At the same time, Trump's actions have complicated conservatives' goals to shrink government and hold employees accountable. Lisa Rein, Anchorage Daily News, "A government shutdown and the biggest raise in a decade: How Trump gave federal workers whiplash in 2019," 29 Dec. 2019 The coal miner pension provision, opposed by House GOP conservatives like Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. Arkansas Online, "Tax repeals, tobacco-age increase added to $1.4 trillion spending bill," 16 Dec. 2019 The conservatives were surprised the liberals thought at all about religion. Nellie Bowles, New York Times, "How to Get Trump Voters and Liberals to Talk: Don’t Make Anyone Sit in a Circle," 3 Nov. 2019 Moral-minded conservatives were flummoxed by audiences’ hunger for this brand of entertainment in the same decade that John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson, and others were terrorizing the nation. Jack Hamilton, The Atlantic, "Goodbye to the Goodfellas," 31 Oct. 2019 The Tribune’s disappearance was further testimony that moderates were simply less willing than conservatives to suffer and sacrifice for their cause. Doug Henwood, Harper's magazine, "To Serve Is to Rule," 28 Oct. 2019 Modern conservatives are known for wanting a small government, centered on local concerns and responsive to the people, yet are also often quite comfortable with the consolidation of big nationwide businesses that dominate their fields. Kyle Sammin, National Review, "Amid a Revival of Anti-Monopoly Sentiment, a New Book Traces Its History," 15 Oct. 2019 With nearly all the votes counted, the conservatives were set to win 39.8% of the vote. ... Nektaria Stamouli, WSJ, "Conservatives Regain Control in Greece," 8 July 2019 In late October 2018, a Democratic activist ran ads targeted at conservatives misleadingly implying that Ted Cruz was opposed to Trump. Jeremy B. Merrill, Quartz, "How Facebook might change its political-ad policy," 19 Dec. 2019

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

9 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Conservative.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/conservatives. Accessed 22 January 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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