conventional wisdom


Definition of conventional wisdom

: the generally accepted belief, opinion, judgment, or prediction about a particular matter

Examples of conventional wisdom in a Sentence

Conventional wisdom in Hollywood says that a movie can't succeed unless it stars a famous actor or actress.

Recent Examples on the Web

Proposing a more nuanced narrative than conventional wisdom about the immutability of our DNA, the epigenome has been identified as the control panel for our genes, determining which of them is turned on or off at any given time. Marcia Desanctis, Vogue, "Can the Genes Responsible for Aging Be Altered by a Face Cream? These Skin-Care Companies Say Yes," 21 July 2018 This, of course, goes against the conventional wisdom. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Polls Are Still As Accurate As They Were 75 Years Ago," 14 Mar. 2018 For around 10 years, the conventional wisdom in the energy sector has been that natural gas is ascendant. David Roberts, Vox, "Clean energy is catching up to natural gas," 8 Aug. 2018 Founded in 2002, SmugMug has been around even longer than Flickr and, from the start, has defied conventional wisdom in Silicon Valley, never taking a dime from outside investors or entertaining buyout offers. Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY, "Exclusive: Flickr bought by SmugMug, which vows to revitalize the photo service," 20 Apr. 2018 The conventional wisdom is that Glenn Close is overdue for an Oscar. Lindsey Bahr, The Seattle Times, "AP Oscar predictions: What will win, what should win," 20 Feb. 2019 While plenty of domestic U.S. carriers offer direct options, conventional wisdom suggests that Japan’s two national airlines, All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Japan Airlines (JAL), tend to offer better service and food (think soba at 35,000 feet). Jessica Flint, WSJ, "A Discerning Vacationer’s Guide to Escaping from Tokyo," 6 Dec. 2018 After all, conventional wisdom says there are wide swaths of this district that could never imagine voting for a Democrat — let alone a Palestinian Mexican American. Tara Golshan, Vox, "How this Mexican-Palestinian-American progressive is selling the anti-corruption message in Trump country," 15 Oct. 2018 The conventional wisdom is that the week-long Kelly Sadler drama was an unforced error — that the White House unnecessarily prolonged the situation by drawing a line in the sand and refusing to apologize. Aaron Blake, Washington Post, "The GOP cowers before almighty Trump — again," 16 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'conventional wisdom.' 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 wisdom

1838, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

7 Apr 2019

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The first known use of conventional wisdom was in 1838

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More Definitions for conventional wisdom

conventional wisdom


English Language Learners Definition of conventional wisdom

: opinions or beliefs that are held or accepted by most people

More from Merriam-Webster on conventional wisdom

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for conventional wisdom

Britannica English: Translation of conventional wisdom for Arabic Speakers

Comments on conventional wisdom

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


an act or instance of returning to life

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