con·​ven·​tion | \ kən-ˈven(t)-shən How to pronounce convention (audio) \

Definition of convention

b : an agreement between states for regulation of matters affecting all of them an international convention banning the spread of nuclear weapons
c : a compact between opposing commanders especially concerning prisoner exchange or armistice
d : a general agreement about basic principles or procedures also : a principle or procedure accepted as true or correct by convention the conventions of grammar
2a : the summoning or convening of an assembly
b : an assembly of persons met for a common purpose a comic book convention especially : a meeting of the delegates of a political party for the purpose of formulating a platform and selecting candidates for office
c : the usually state or national organization of a religious denomination
3a : usage or custom especially in social matters conventions of society
b : a rule of conduct or behavior
c : a practice in bidding or playing that conveys information between partners in a card game (such as bridge)
d : an established technique, practice, or device (as in the theater) The usual romantic conventions made the film predictable.

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Synonyms for convention


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Examples of convention in a Sentence

We go to the weeklong annual teachers' convention every summer. He bought some new books at the science fiction convention. The Democratic National Convention will meet next week to announce their party's candidate for president. It's important to follow the conventions of punctuation in a paper for school. They say school is just as important for teaching children social codes and conventions as for teaching math. Many sports shows have recently adopted the conventions of the talk show. a poet who rebels against literary convention The award that by convention should have gone to the student with the highest grade went instead to the teacher's favorite. As a matter of convention, the oldest members speak first. The director's use of the usual romantic conventions made the film boring and predictable.
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Recent Examples on the Web On Monday, the RNC sent its donors the official invitation to the convention, which stated that the event was proceeding apace and would be held Aug. 24-27., "In reversal, White House tells CDC to post church guidance," 21 May 2020 The state sends 320 delegates to the Democratic convention. Chris Dolmetsch,, "New York Democratic Primary Goes Forward After Yang Suit," 20 May 2020 Sondland and a coalition of other hotel operations had gone to war with Metro over its plan to subsidize construction of a large, 600-room hotel just north of the convention center. oregonlive, "Sondland wants to sell convention center property despite market crash," 5 May 2020 But Everett said there is always some form of virtual elements to the conventions. Bill Glauber, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Republicans moving 'full steam ahead' for 2020 convention in Charlotte, North Carolina," 29 Apr. 2020 The masses now working from home, clocking in on laptops and using video conferencing apps instead of driving to work or flying to a convention, is the most apparent and perhaps most Earth-friendly shift in societal behavior recently. Kurtis Alexander,, "The coronarvirus will change our lives, but the environment could see benefits," 2 Apr. 2020 The balance of Super Tuesday's battlefield — with Biden winning at least eight states and Sanders four — raised questions about whether the Democratic primary contest would stretch all the way to the July convention or be decided much sooner. Steve Peoples, Fortune, "Biden wins 8 Super Tuesday states; Sanders takes California," 4 Mar. 2020 With only 52 pledged delegates to the Democratic convention — a fraction of California's 415 — this Deep South state is far from the biggest prize on Super Tuesday, March 3, when 14 states with about 40% of the total delegates are up for grabs. al, "Mike Bloomberg is spending big in Alabama. Will it win him the primary?," 26 Feb. 2020 Comic-Con, which draws 130,000 pop culture fans to the San Diego Convention Center each July, naturally features no free parking, no pets, tons of lines, and convention center food. Lauren Huff,, "Comic-Con announces at-home event for summer 2020," 9 May 2020

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for convention

Middle English, from Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin convention-, conventio, from convenire — see convenient

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Time Traveler for convention

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for convention

Last Updated

30 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Convention.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for convention


How to pronounce convention (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of convention

: a large meeting of people who come to a place for usually several days to talk about their shared work or other interests or to make decisions as a group
: a custom or a way of acting or doing things that is widely accepted and followed
: a traditional or common style often used in literature, theater, or art to create a particular effect


con·​ven·​tion | \ kən-ˈven-chən How to pronounce convention (audio) \

Kids Definition of convention

1 : a meeting of people for a common purpose a teachers' convention
2 : a custom or a way of acting and doing things that is widely accepted and followed Follow the conventions of punctuation in your writing.
3 : agreement sense 3 a convention among nations



Legal Definition of convention

1 : an agreement between nations for regulation of matters affecting all of them
2 : an agreement enforceable in law : contract
3 : an assembly of persons met for a common purpose especially : a meeting of the delegates of a political party for the purpose of formulating a platform and selecting candidates for office

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