neo·​con·​ser·​va·​tive | \ ˌnē-ō-kən-ˈsər-və-tiv How to pronounce neoconservative (audio) \

Definition of neoconservative

1 : a former liberal espousing political conservatism
2 : a conservative who advocates the assertive promotion of democracy and U.S. national interest in international affairs including through military means

Other Words from neoconservative

neoconservatism \ ˌnē-​ō-​kən-​ˈsər-​və-​ˌti-​zəm How to pronounce neoconservative (audio) \ noun
neoconservative adjective

Examples of neoconservative in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web 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 Irving Kristol famously said a neoconservative is a liberal who has been mugged by reality. Rich Lowry, National Review, 28 May 2021 Canonical neoconservatives, Wilsonian dreamers, crusaders for human rights and other adherents of American exceptionalism ended his active career in government in 1977. John A. Farrell, New York Times, 28 Apr. 2020 Against the neoconservatives, conservatives must oppose imperial adventures and protect the principle of national independence. Alexis Carré, National Review, 18 Feb. 2020 When the neoconservatives came on the scene in the late 1960s, the Republican old guard viewed them as interlopers. Jacob Heilbrunn, The New Republic, 23 Jan. 2020 The foreign policy adventures of the neoconservatives and liberal internationalists haven’t fared much better than economic policy or cultural politics. Ganesh Sitaraman, The New Republic, 23 Dec. 2019 The neoconservatives in the Republican Party from John Bolton on down view Israel as a 51st state. Dave Orrick, Twin Cities, 24 Sep. 2019 Beginning in the 1970s, some of the writers and editors who became known as neoconservatives observed changes in the American elite. Matthew Continetti, National Review, 10 Aug. 2019 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'neoconservative.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of neoconservative

1952, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for neoconservative

neo- + conservative entry 2

Learn More About neoconservative

Time Traveler for neoconservative

Time Traveler

The first known use of neoconservative was in 1952

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near neoconservative




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for neoconservative

Cite this Entry

“Neoconservative.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on neoconservative

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for neoconservative Encyclopedia article about neoconservative

Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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