tra·​di·​tion·​al | \ trə-ˈdish-nəl How to pronounce traditional (audio) , -ˈdi-shə-nᵊl \

Definition of traditional

1 : of or relating to tradition : consisting of or derived from tradition a traditional celebration
2 : handed down from age to age traditional history traditional songs/stories
3 : following or conforming to tradition : adhering to past practices or established conventions traditional morality traditional values/beliefs employing traditional methods of cooking

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Other Words from traditional

traditionally adverb
a dish traditionally made with egg yolks, cream, and sugar a seating area traditionally reserved for the church's leaders

Examples of traditional in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Many of those employees have chronic conditions that are being poorly managed in the traditional health system, said Steven Wardell, a longtime health-tech analyst who recently opened his own consulting firm., "Most popular on," 2 Dec. 2019 Songs will include a variety of new and favorite Christmas selections, including sacred, traditional and popular tunes, plus the annual audience singalong of seasonal favorites. Arkansas Online, "COMMUNITY EVENTS IN THE RIVER VALLEY & OZARK AREA," 2 Dec. 2019 The same old, traditional ways of thinking may not apply in the future. John Aguilar, The Denver Post, "RTD’s next general manager will face bumpy road as metro Denver’s mobility landscape gets more complex," 27 Nov. 2019 Picture the Upper East Side and what likely comes to mind is an array of traditional, pre-war buildings, with crown moldings and parquet floors and plenty of antiques. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "This New York City Apartment Is All About Pattern and Texture," 25 Nov. 2019 For nearly two weeks, Spurs guard Derrick White dealt with the mild but recurring pain in his left foot in all the traditional ways. Jeff Mcdonald,, "Spurs’ one-game win streak faces Lakers test," 24 Nov. 2019 Having a thermometer is vital when cooking a turkey the traditional way. Camila Vallejo,, "Looking to host the perfect Friendsgiving? Local experts share advice on how to plan, what to make and where to go," 22 Nov. 2019 Oysters cultivated in this traditional way are the mainstay of older Gulf Coast raw bars. Brett Anderson, New York Times, "Gulf Oysters Are Dying, Putting a Southern Tradition at Risk," 12 Nov. 2019 Students are encouraged to engage with coursework in non-traditional ways, including movement theater, public protest, and uncontrolled emotional outbursts. Rob Long, National Review, "Harvard University’s Fall 2021 Course Offerings," 7 Nov. 2019

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

1545, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for traditional

Time Traveler

The first known use of traditional was in 1545

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Statistics for traditional

Last Updated

5 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Traditional.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 10 December 2019.

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More Definitions for traditional


How to pronounce traditional (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of traditional

: based on a way of thinking, behaving, or doing something that has been used by the people in a particular group, family, society, etc., for a long time : following the tradition of a certain group or culture
: typical or normal for something or someone : having the qualities, beliefs, etc., that are usual or expected in a particular type of person or thing
: based on old-fashioned ideas : not new, different, or modern


tra·​di·​tion·​al | \ trə-ˈdi-shə-nᵊl \

Kids Definition of traditional

1 : handed down from age to age a traditional story
2 : based on custom the traditional Thanksgiving dinner

Other Words from traditional

traditionally adverb

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Comments on traditional

What made you want to look up traditional? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to state or do over again or repeatedly

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