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

Defying convention back in the day by signing white guitarist Dennis Coffey to his label and managing Argentine pianist-composer Lalo Schifrin. Gail Mitchell, Billboard, "Clarence Avant Documentary 'The Black Godfather' Draws Star-Studded Audience to LA Premiere," 4 June 2019 Danish architect Bjarke Ingels—founder and creative partner of his eponymous firm, BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group)—is well known for projects that defy convention. Samantha Swenson, ELLE Decor, "Is Oceanix City by Bjarke Ingels the Real-Life Lost Continent of Atlantis?," 12 Apr. 2019 On the other hand, people who defy conventions to embrace femininity often say they are fetishized. Alyssa Hardy, Teen Vogue, "Why Does Gender Neutral Clothing Translate to “Boys” Clothing?," 21 Dec. 2018 Blizzard’s annual convention has become a significant source of Overwatch reveals over the years. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "Overwatch gets a McCree animated short and new character called Ashe," 2 Nov. 2018 The Kutte is expected attire at concerts, wherever you may be publicly recognized, and at fan club meetings, whether local, regional, or the annual international Turbojugend convention at a beer hall in Hamburg. Nancy Baym, WIRED, "Book Excerpt: How Music Fans Built the Internet," 10 July 2018 Hutchings works on elaborate creations of his own, and his latest was on display at Brick Fiesta, the annual convention for Lego enthusiasts of all ages that began Thursday and ends today. Austin Horn, San Antonio Express-News, "San Antonio Brick Fiesta invites enthusiasts, first-timers alike to marvel at Lego creations," 7 July 2018 At the AIA Conference on Architecture—the profession’s annual convention held this year in New York from June 22 to 23—both the establishment and progressive professional groups called for radical change. Diana Budds, Curbed, "#MeToo hit architecture. Now what?," 5 July 2018 The reform allows superdelegates to continue to have their automatic status, but to lose their first vote on the convention floor. Seth Masket, Vox, "Race is still the central dividing line in the Democratic Party," 26 Aug. 2018

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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Statistics for convention

Last Updated

14 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for convention

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

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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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Comments on convention

What made you want to look up convention? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to take the place or position of

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