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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Synonyms for convention


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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 Safari Club International is auctioning off a week-long trophy hunt with President Donald Trump's son through Alaska as part of its annual convention in Reno, Nevada, set to take place Wednesday through Saturday. Joshua Bote, USA TODAY, "'Dream hunt' with Donald Trump Jr. for trophy animals starts bidding at $10,000," 4 Feb. 2020 If recent history is any guide, the winner can expect to be nominated by their party’s national convention in the summer. The Economist, "Iowa’s false start The bungling of the Iowa caucuses may harm the Democrats’ nominee," 4 Feb. 2020 The nomenclature switch was a result of Peugeot complaining that Porsche had appropriated its naming convention, which denoted model lines using three-digit numbers with a zero in the middle position. Rich Ceppos, Car and Driver, "Defining the Porsche 911: New vs. Old," 31 Jan. 2020 And on Tuesday night, President Trump held a campaign rally just two blocks from where the Democratic Party will hold its national convention this summer. NBC News, "Fight for $15 campaign and the SEIU launch joint campaign effort in Michigan, Wisconsin," 17 Jan. 2020 Trump told the crowd in downtown Milwaukee — not far from where Democrats will hold their convention this summer. Time, "President Trump Uses Rally During Democratic Debate to Defend Airstrike on Iran General," 15 Jan. 2020 And the Democrats are holding their national convention this summer in Milwaukee. CBS News, "In battleground Wisconsin, turnout is key: "My vote's up for grabs"," 14 Jan. 2020 Its convention addresses double taxation—but not conclusively. Mercy Muendo, Quartz Africa, "Kenya’s new “Uber” tax on digital businesses and services could spark US trade retaliation," 9 Dec. 2019 Democrats, meanwhile, are accelerating their organizing efforts and — perhaps most importantly — holding their 2020 nominating convention in Milwaukee with an eye toward retaking the state. Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press, "These are the swing voters in Michigan who will sway 2020 election," 2 Dec. 2019

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

22 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Convention.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for convention


How to pronounce convention (audio)

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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