Synonym Chooser

How is the word conventional distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of conventional are ceremonial, ceremonious, and formal. While all these words mean "marked by attention to or adhering strictly to prescribed forms," conventional implies accord with general custom and usage and may suggest a stodgy lack of originality or independence.

conventional courtesy
conventional fiction

How are the words ceremonial and ceremonious related as synonyms of conventional?

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

When is it sensible to use ceremonious instead of conventional?

In some situations, the words ceremonious and conventional are roughly equivalent. However, ceremonious applies to persons given to ceremony or to acts attended by ceremony.

made his ceremonious entrance

Where would formal be a reasonable alternative to conventional?

The synonyms formal and conventional are sometimes interchangeable, but 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

Thesaurus Entries Near conventional

Cite this Entry

“Conventional.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on conventional

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