con·​ven·​tion·​al | \ kən-ˈvench-nəl How to pronounce conventional (audio) , -ˈven(t)-shə-nᵊl \

Definition of conventional

1 : formed by agreement or compact
2a : according with, sanctioned by, or based on convention conventional spelling conventional morality
b : lacking originality or individuality : trite Most of her books are conventional detective stories.
c(1) : ordinary, commonplace conventional medications
(2) : nonnuclear sense 1 conventional warfare
3a : according with a mode of artistic representation that simplifies or provides symbols or substitutes for natural forms
b : of traditional design
4 : of, resembling, or relating to a convention, assembly, or public meeting

Other Words from conventional

conventionalism \ kən-​ˈvench-​nə-​ˌli-​zəm How to pronounce conventional (audio) , -​ˈven(t)-​shə-​ \ noun
conventionalist \ kən-​ˈvench-​nə-​list How to pronounce conventional (audio) , -​ˈven(t)-​shə-​ \ noun or adjective
conventionalization \ kən-​ˌvench-​nə-​lə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce conventional (audio) , -​ˌven(t)-​shə-​nə-​ \ noun
conventionalize \ kən-​ˈvench-​nə-​ˌlīz How to pronounce conventional (audio) , -​ˈven(t)-​shə-​nə-​ \ transitive verb
conventionally adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for conventional

ceremonial, ceremonious, formal, conventional mean marked by attention to or adhering strictly to prescribed forms. ceremonial and ceremonious both imply strict attention to what is prescribed by custom or by ritual, but ceremonial applies to things that are associated with ceremonies a ceremonial offering , ceremonious to persons given to ceremony or to acts attended by ceremony. made his ceremonious entrance formal applies both to things prescribed by and to persons obedient to custom and may suggest stiff, restrained, or old-fashioned behavior. a formal report the headmaster's formal manner conventional implies accord with general custom and usage conventional courtesy and may suggest a stodgy lack of originality or independence. conventional fiction

Examples of conventional in a Sentence

The number sign is the conventional symbol for labeling something measured in pounds. While microwaves heat up food more quickly, most food tastes better when it is cooked in a conventional oven. Most of her books are conventional detective stories. His views on dating are more conventional than those of some of his friends.
Recent Examples on the Web Resembling capsules, the glass-and-ceramic pendant lights of his own design suit the lab-like cabinetry, but instead of building a conventional and similarly sleek island, the architect repurposed an antique wood table, giving it a new, larger top. Maile Pingel, WSJ, 28 Sep. 2022 Russia’s nuclear doctrine allows the use of such weapons if weapons of mass destruction are used against it or if the Russian state faces an existential threat from conventional weapons. Guy Faulconbridge And Felix Light, The Christian Science Monitor, 20 Sep. 2022 From there, a user could prioritize planes over ships, aircraft carriers over other surface combatants, and nuclear over conventional weapons. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 6 Sep. 2022 Or a toaster oven typically draws 33 to 50 percent less energy than a conventional one. Laura Daily, Washington Post, 30 Aug. 2022 Musk has argued that the price hikes are justified as the utility of an autonomous vehicle can be four or five times higher than a conventional one. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 22 Aug. 2022 If Lizzo did get engaged or married, that doesn't mean her relationship with Wright is a conventional one. Emily Tannenbaum, Glamour, 13 Aug. 2022 In conventional zoning, permission for a variety of land uses and building types is granted before the city or neighbors get to see plans. Stacy Ryburn, Arkansas Online, 18 Sep. 2022 Alex Wright has taken a less conventional path to the NFL than most, but in his debut last week, the moment still wasn’t too big for him. Ashley Bastock, cleveland, 17 Sep. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'conventional.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of conventional

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for conventional

see convention

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Time Traveler for conventional

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

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conventional heir

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Last Updated

3 Oct 2022

Cite this Entry

“Conventional.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for conventional


con·​ven·​tion·​al | \ kən-ˈven-shə-nᵊl How to pronounce conventional (audio) \

Kids Definition of conventional

1 : following the usual or widely accepted way of doing things a conventional wedding ceremony
2 : used or accepted through general agreement conventional signs and symbols


con·​ven·​tion·​al | \ kən-ˈven-chə-nəl How to pronounce conventional (audio) \

Legal Definition of conventional

1 : based on, settled by, or formed by agreement : contractual — compare judicial sense 2, legal sense 2c
2 : of, like, or relating to a convention or public meeting

More from Merriam-Webster on conventional

Nglish: Translation of conventional for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of conventional for Arabic Speakers


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