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 among many winemakers in Walla Walla was that their winters were too cold and the soils too sandy for phylloxera to gain a significant foothold. Michael Alberty | For The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Walla Walla vineyards face threat of phylloxera, insect that ruins grapevine production," 4 Sep. 2019 The conventional wisdom is that the candidate who can spend the most on it will most likely win. Liberty Vittert, The Conversation, "You’d be better off lighting your money on fire than giving it to a politician to spend on TV ads," 28 Aug. 2019 The strata placed them at well over 20,000 years old, but archaeologists wouldn’t believe him: The conventional wisdom was the Aboriginal people arrived in faraway northern Australia 20,000 years ago at the earliest. David Maurice Smith, Smithsonian, "A 42,000-Year-Old Man Finally Goes Home," 23 Aug. 2019 For decades, conventional wisdom in politics held that trying to undermine your opponent’s base would only motivate that group to vote against you. Matthew Rosenberg,, "Trump consultant is trolling Democrats with Biden site that isn’t Biden’s," 29 June 2019 Drug of the privileged The conventional wisdom in politics is any admission of drug-taking could finish off a person's career. Tara John, CNN, "British prime minister hopeful reportedly admits to cocaine use, but the public may not care," 8 June 2019 Four researchers have recently come out with a model that upends the conventional wisdom in their field. Quanta Magazine, "Without a Proof, Mathematicians Wonder How Much Evidence Is Enough," 31 Oct. 2018 Among veteran travelers, the conventional wisdom is that every time zone crossed requires a day of recovery. Chris Erskinecolumnist, Los Angeles Times, "Jet-lagged from that long summer flight? Tips on reducing the fog and fatigue," 16 Aug. 2019 Is there a real-world alternative to the expensive conventional wisdom of pension managers? Scott Burns, Dallas News, "Let's look at the real-world consequences of teacher pension fund fees," 7 July 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of conventional wisdom

1838, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about conventional wisdom

Statistics for conventional wisdom

Last Updated

8 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for conventional wisdom

The first known use of conventional wisdom was in 1838

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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).


readily or continually undergoing change

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!