con·​ven·​tion | \ kən-ˈven(t)-shən How to pronounce convention (audio) \

Definition of convention

b : an agreement between states for regulation of matters affecting all of them an international convention banning the spread of nuclear weapons
c : a compact between opposing commanders especially concerning prisoner exchange or armistice
d : a general agreement about basic principles or procedures also : a principle or procedure accepted as true or correct by convention the conventions of grammar
2a : the summoning or convening of an assembly
b : an assembly of persons met for a common purpose a comic book convention especially : a meeting of the delegates of a political party for the purpose of formulating a platform and selecting candidates for office
c : the usually state or national organization of a religious denomination
3a : usage or custom especially in social matters conventions of society
b : a rule of conduct or behavior
c : a practice in bidding or playing that conveys information between partners in a card game (such as bridge)
d : an established technique, practice, or device (as in the theater) The usual romantic conventions made the film predictable.

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Examples of convention in a Sentence

We go to the weeklong annual teachers' convention every summer. He bought some new books at the science fiction convention. The Democratic National Convention will meet next week to announce their party's candidate for president. It's important to follow the conventions of punctuation in a paper for school. They say school is just as important for teaching children social codes and conventions as for teaching math. Many sports shows have recently adopted the conventions of the talk show. a poet who rebels against literary convention The award that by convention should have gone to the student with the highest grade went instead to the teacher's favorite. As a matter of convention, the oldest members speak first. The director's use of the usual romantic conventions made the film boring and predictable.
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Recent Examples on the Web The Democratic convention took one ballot, not more. Karl Rove, WSJ, "2020 Hindsight and a Look Ahead," 30 Dec. 2020 Granholm has been a staunch Democrat, and gave an impassioned speech against then-Republican presidential nominee — and now the U.S. senator from Utah — Mitt Romney at the 2012 Democratic convention in Charlotte. Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press, "Biden selects Jennifer Granholm to be energy secretary," 15 Dec. 2020 The liberal firebrand, 31, who was a staunch supporter of President-elect Joe Biden's main primary rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders, spoke for less than two minutes during the Democratic convention over the summer. Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner, "Obama chides Democrats for giving AOC short convention speaking slot," 2 Dec. 2020 Biden constantly cites combating bigotry and anti-Semitism specifically in his appearances, including at the Democratic convention. Ron Kampeas,, "Iran, Israel, anti-Semitism and more: What to watch in Joe Biden’s presidency," 9 Nov. 2020 Possible contenders include two Republicans who spoke at the Democratic convention: former Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Meg Whitman, a tech executive who ran for California governor. Max Berley, Anchorage Daily News, "Who is being mentioned for top posts in Biden’s administration?," 8 Nov. 2020 Warriors guard Stephen Curry similarly has sought to raise political awareness, most recently speaking at the virtual Democratic convention and hosting a series of long-form interviews about the coronavirus pandemic and voting. Ron Kroichick,, "Warriors’ Draymond Green last voted in 2008. Why he’s vowing to turn out for 2020 election," 30 Oct. 2020 The former Vice President kept in touch with Brayden and his family leading to Brayden speaking at the Democratic convention in August. NBC news, "Packed crowds, few masks at Trump's NC rally," 22 Oct. 2020 Longoria was one of the few Latinos who spoke at this year’s Democratic convention, bringing more visibility both to her leadership and some of the very issues that have inspired her political advocacy. Bethonie Butler, Washington Post, "If you don’t know why Eva Longoria is a political power broker, you haven’t been paying attention," 20 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'convention.' 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 convention

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for convention

Middle English, from Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin convention-, conventio, from convenire — see convenient

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Time Traveler for convention

Time Traveler

The first known use of convention was in the 15th century

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Statistics for convention

Last Updated

28 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Convention.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for convention



English Language Learners Definition of convention

: a large meeting of people who come to a place for usually several days to talk about their shared work or other interests or to make decisions as a group
: a custom or a way of acting or doing things that is widely accepted and followed
: a traditional or common style often used in literature, theater, or art to create a particular effect


con·​ven·​tion | \ kən-ˈven-chən How to pronounce convention (audio) \

Kids Definition of convention

1 : a meeting of people for a common purpose a teachers' convention
2 : a custom or a way of acting and doing things that is widely accepted and followed Follow the conventions of punctuation in your writing.
3 : agreement sense 3 a convention among nations



Legal Definition of convention

1 : an agreement between nations for regulation of matters affecting all of them
2 : an agreement enforceable in law : contract
3 : an assembly of persons met for a common purpose especially : a meeting of the delegates of a political party for the purpose of formulating a platform and selecting candidates for office

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