con·​ven·​tion | \ kən-ˈven(t)-shən \

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

Courtesy of Nununu For Nununu founders Iris Adler and Tali Milchberg of Tel Aviv, Israel, the effort to change conventions in children’s fashion started a decade ago, making their company one of the first to take part in this burgeoning trend. Nadra Nittle, Vox, "Céline Dion has a new gender-neutral clothing line for kids," 16 Nov. 2018 Trump told the National Rifle Association’s annual convention in Dallas, Texas. Adam Shaw, Fox News, "Trump shames Mueller team in NRA speech, on heels of judge's rebuke," 2 Oct. 2018 She and Torshin met with GOP figures at the 2015 NRA convention in Nashville — including, Torshin tweeted, Donald Trump. Matthew Bodner, The Seattle Times, "Misfire: Maria Butina’s strange route from Russia to U.S. jail," 10 Sep. 2018 Democrats endorsed Byswiewicz for lieutenant governor at the party’s convention in May, but Bermudez Zimmerman netted enough support to qualify for the primary. Daniela Altimari,, "Eva Bermudez Zimmerman Says She's Met the Threshold for Public Financing," 10 July 2018 And though one convention in botanical illustration is to add a light source from the upper left of the drawing, Tangerini’s style of using heavy line shading gives plants the appearance of emitting a light of their own. Leila Mcneill, Smithsonian, "The Botanical Artist Who Translates Plant Science Into Beautiful Art," 10 July 2018 At the state party convention in San Diego earlier this year, the former state Senate leader trounced Feinstein in the bid for the June primary endorsement, winning 54 percent to just 37 percent for the four-term incumbent. John Wildermuth,, "Feinstein won’t seek California Democratic Party endorsement," 5 July 2018 Ballantine, a member of the law firm of Stoll Keenon Ogden. was sworn in during the KBA convention in Lexington earlier in June. Andrew Wolfson, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville lawyer is the new Kentucky Bar Association president," 29 June 2018 In 2016, Burton, Chad Michael Murray, Bethany Joy Lenz and more of the original stars of the popular drama gathered together for the first-ever insideOTH convention in fictional Tree Hill, aka Wilmington, North Carolina. Christina Dugan,, "Lifetime Reunites One Tree Hill Cast in New Holiday Movie," 13 June 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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Last Updated

11 Jan 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 \

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).


a complex dispute or argument

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