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 The conventional wisdom is the union won’t succeed, so most experts are looking to see how close the vote will be. New York Times, "Why Amazon’s Union Vote Matters," 31 Mar. 2021 Bain’s appetite for questioning conventional wisdom has deep roots in how science works. Christian Stadler, Forbes, "How Will Megatrends Affect Your Business? Learning The Bain Futures Method," 17 Mar. 2021 Economics textbooks draw the static Phillips Curve relating inflation and unemployment, and deride the conventional wisdom of the time that the Fed could permanently lower unemployment by tolerating a little more inflation. John H. Cochrane, National Review, "Does the Fed’s Monetary Policy Threaten Inflation? (Contains Spoilers)," 9 Mar. 2021 Expecting Better, mined scientific data to dismantle conventional wisdom around pregnancy (and included, somewhat famously, the revelation that an occasional glass of wine is probably fine). Tessa Stuart, Rolling Stone, "How Economist Emily Oster Ended Up at the Center of the Fight Over Schools Reopening," 4 Mar. 2021 Target could have followed the conventional wisdom at the time, which would have entailed building an expensive network of e-commerce fulfillment centers, CEO Brian Cornell said on an earnings call today to discuss the company’s 2020 results. Marc Bain, Quartz, "Target thinks the future of e-commerce is its stores," 2 Mar. 2021 While conventional wisdom suggests that the more mouths there are to feed, the more refrigerators, the statistics don’t bear that out. Cynthia Greenlee, New York Times, "When One Fridge Is Not Enough," 23 Feb. 2021 As conventional wisdom would have it, fanny packs were in, purses, at long last, out. Leena Kim, Town & Country, "In the Midst of a Pandemic, Handbag Sales Are Breaking Records," 22 Feb. 2021 The conventional wisdom of the ’90s was that founders are fun to keep around for a couple of years while a company gets off the ground, but should be replaced with adult supervision as soon as possible. Owen Thomas, San Francisco Chronicle, "The long shadow of Jeff Bezos," 3 Feb. 2021

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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Time Traveler for conventional wisdom

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The first known use of conventional wisdom was in 1838

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Statistics for conventional wisdom

Last Updated

7 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Conventional wisdom.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 2021.

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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

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