con·ven·tion·al | \ kən-ˈvench-nəl , -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, -ˈven(t)-shə- \ noun
conventionalist \kən-ˈvench-nə-list, -ˈven(t)-shə- \ noun or adjective
conventionalization \kən-ˌvench-nə-lə-ˈzā-shən, -ˌven(t)-shə-nə- \ noun
conventionalize \kən-ˈvench-nə-ˌlīz, -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

These are becoming companies that are supposed to succeed in the conventional sense, by offering real services and bringing in real customers for real money. Alex Davies, WIRED, "Inside X, the Moonshot Factory Racing to Build the Next Google," 11 July 2018 Pakistan's conventional armed forces are smaller than India’s, so the country is apparently trying to make up for it in nuclear weapons. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. and Russia Are Shrinking Their Nuclear Arsenals—But China Isn't," 19 June 2018 Mobileye needs a development and validation strategy that fits the conventional car business model of selling cars outright to customers. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Intel’s Mobileye wants to dominate driverless cars—but there’s a problem," 21 May 2018 Such performance is key to delivering the energy savings and pollution reductions BYD claims, and necessary if its buses are to replace conventional models that in Los Angeles run 385 miles between fuel stops. Paige St. John,, "Stalls, stops and breakdowns: Problems plague push for electric buses," 20 May 2018 Our model for our bullpen this year is a little different from the conventional model. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Notes: With injuries a major factor, Brewers already have used 22 different pitchers," 13 May 2018 In the amplituhedron theory and some other approaches, there are no building blocks at all—at least not in any conventional sense. George Musser, Scientific American, "What Is Spacetime?," 8 May 2018 Investors see the oil industry’s conventional business model, in which companies spend billions of collars upfront for prospects that could turn out to be dry hole sas too risky. Collin Eaton, Houston Chronicle, "Private companies investing in Gulf as Wall Street turns its back," 3 May 2018 In 2011 six-string bassist Björn Meyer left the group and was replaced by Thomy Jordi, who plays a conventional four-string model. Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader, "Now a quartet, Swiss pianist Nik Bartsch’s Ronin’s remains undiminished in its rhythmic focus," 3 May 2018

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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Phrases Related to conventional

conventional medicine

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Last Updated

7 Sep 2018

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

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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 \

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 \

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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Comments on conventional

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the setting in which something occurs

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