neo·​con·​ser·​va·​tive ˌnē-ō-kən-ˈsər-və-tiv How to pronounce neoconservative (audio)
: a former liberal espousing political conservatism
: a conservative who advocates the assertive promotion of democracy and U.S. national interest in international affairs including through military means
neoconservative adjective

Examples of neoconservative in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Then again, without Carter as the nominee, the neoconservatives who broke away from the Democrats might have stayed in the fold. Ben Jacobs, The New Republic, 21 Sep. 2023 After years as intellectual insurgents within the Republican Party, the neoconservatives were suddenly elevated to an influential policy board in 1998. Max Fisher, New York Times, 18 Mar. 2023 With war no longer entirely a hypothetical, neoconservatives portrayed Iraq as a proving ground for their larger mission. Max Fisher, New York Times, 18 Mar. 2023 Younger rightists dodge the war-taint by blaming everything on a ghoulish cabal of neoconservatives whose Wilsonian phantasmagoria once held their party in thrall. David Harsanyi, National Review, 16 Mar. 2023 For decades, Republicans aligned roughly around the heavy-handed foreign policy principles of neoconservatives. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 23 Feb. 2023 Yet he was not born to be a black neoconservative. Darryl Pinckney, Harper's Magazine, 16 Mar. 2021 The whole line of attack recalled Irving Kristol’s adage that a neoconservative is simply a liberal who has been mugged by reality. Jelani Cobb, The New Yorker, 25 Sep. 2022 The only missing ingredient to make the platform neoconservative was building a large military and a lower threshold for using it. Shay Khatiri, The Week, 26 Mar. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'neoconservative.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1952, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of neoconservative was in 1952

Dictionary Entries Near neoconservative

Cite this Entry

“Neoconservative.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on neoconservative

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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