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

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Other Words from conventional

conventionalism \ kən-​ˈvench-​nə-​ˌli-​zəm How to pronounce conventionalism (audio) , -​ˈven(t)-​shə-​ \ noun
conventionalist \ kən-​ˈvench-​nə-​list How to pronounce conventionalist (audio) , -​ˈven(t)-​shə-​ \ noun or adjective
conventionalization \ kən-​ˌvench-​nə-​lə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce conventionalization (audio) , -​ˌven(t)-​shə-​nə-​ \ noun
conventionalize \ kən-​ˈvench-​nə-​ˌlīz How to pronounce conventionalize (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.
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Recent Examples on the Web The first Bentayga had a more conventional trunk aperture dividing the rear light units, which the company clearly reckons wasn’t sufficiently redolent of Bentley's other models. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, "2021 Bentley Bentayga Gets Big Style and Content Upgrade," 30 June 2020 Like the other Honda hybrids, there's no conventional transmission here. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "The 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid gets highly disappointing gas mileage," 10 June 2020 That alone casts a pall over what would have been something resembling a superteam in more conventional circumstances. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "MLB may look more like a sprint in 2020; who's hurt the most in an abbreviated season?," 1 June 2020 The Gilpins have installed a more conventional alarm system. Mike Dunne,, "Lavender Ridge Vineyard: Aromatherapy with benefits and fragrant wines," 21 Jan. 2020 The conventional method is to spray a non-selective herbicide such as glyphosate on the grass in early morning and away from other plants. oregonlive, "When it’s time to say goodbye to lawn, uproot it first," 13 July 2020 Nate Schar, the director of luxury real estate for Heritage Auctions, said Barron had tried to sell the house through more conventional ways before turning to auction. Mark Inabinett |, al, "Mark Barron’s house going on auction block," 13 July 2020 Writers in this category may sometimes seem conventional and correct, but only out of caution. Tim Parks, The New York Review of Books, "The Novels of Tension Between Freedom and Disaster," 10 July 2020 It can be recharged in eight hours or less using a conventional electrical outlet, or in about half that time with charging systems designed for electric vehicles. Russ Wiles, The Arizona Republic, "1-seat, 3-wheel electric car now on display at Scottsdale mall, available to order," 10 July 2020

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.

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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

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

3 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Conventional.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for conventional


How to pronounce conventional (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of conventional

: used and accepted by most people : usual or traditional
: of a kind that has been around for a long time and is considered to be usual or typical
: common and ordinary : not unusual


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

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