Definition of conventional in English:

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Pronunciation: /kənˈven(t)SH(ə)n(ə)l/


1Based on or in accordance with what is generally done or believed: a conventional morality had dictated behavior
More example sentences
  • Of course, flouting conventional morality was not allowed in the late 19th century.
  • Of course, conventional training wisdom doesn't condone this.
  • Recent proposals for training in clinical academic medicine have re-emphasised the view that an excellent clinical training leading to a broad based conventional certificate is essential.
unoriginal, formulaic, predictable, stock, unadventurous, unremarkable
informal humdrum, run-of-the-mill
1.1(Of a person) concerned with what is generally held to be acceptable at the expense of individuality and sincerity.
Example sentences
  • He said a career in accountancy marked him as a conventional person, someone who played it safe, but his degenerative eye condition and love of travel meant he had been forced to take risks.
  • From this, we may learn that the hero is a fundamentally conventional person, despite what he's been doing for the past five minutes.
  • That's right, but they were not conventional people.
1.2(Of a work of art or literature) following traditional forms and genres: conventional love poetry
More example sentences
  • Rather than following conventional standards, the work makes audible the ‘tremendous efforts of a writer to buck tradition’.
  • Apart from the competent conventional work, there are also distinctly Australian design genres emerging.
  • I now it's not one of his more conventional works, but I love it when humor artists get macabre.
orthodox, traditional, established, well established, accepted, received, mainstream, prevailing, prevalent, accustomed, customary
conservative, traditional, traditionalist, conformist, bourgeois, old-fashioned, of the old school, small-town, suburban
informal straight, buttoned-down, square, stick-in-the-mud, fuddy-duddy
1.3(Of weapons or power) nonnuclear: agreement on reducing conventional forces in Europe
More example sentences
  • Short range stuff for dealing with conventional weapons and forces: nothing with the range or power we need.
  • Those same officials said the chemicals found are more commonly used to increase the explosive power of conventional bombs.
  • It has access, through its member-states, to the sinews of war in abundance, from nuclear and conventional weapons to massive forces on land, at sea, and in the air.
1.4 Bridge (Of a bid) intended to convey a particular meaning according to an agreed upon convention. Often contrasted with natural.
Example sentences
  • Bids which carry an agreed meaning other than this are called artificial or conventional.
  • When doubling a player who has already doubled you, it is conventional to use the word ‘redouble‘.
  • Also, a natural bid may still be not a conventional bid, if by agreement the only other information it conveys is that the bidder is reluctant to make an alternative response, even if some or all of such alternatives are conventional or artificial.



Pronunciation: /kənˈven(t)SH(ə)n(ə)lˌizəm/
Example sentences
  • Since the nineteenth century many an artist has claimed that he fought the good fight against stuffy conventionalism by baiting the bourgeois.
  • I'm not complaining, it's just that all this uncompromising experimentation - when, that is, concessions aren't made towards conventionalism in terms of integrating it into songs - results in, well, something of a headache.
  • The more interesting tension I find between the papers is in my defense of realism about genes, and the kind of anti-realist conventionalism I think holds in the theory of natural selection.


Pronunciation: /kənˈven(t)SH(ə)n(ə)ləst/
Example sentences
  • People before our fact-obsessed centuries were fully at ease with the made-up fiction, and so I see myself as a traditionalist rather than a conventionalist I suppose.
  • What, indeed, do the conventionalists themselves understand in speaking of the world as containing identifiable ‘objects’ at all?
  • A conventionalist claims that scientific laws or principles are not empirical descriptions of reality but arbitrary conventions or stipulations.


Pronunciation: /kənˌven(t)SHəˈnalədē/
Example sentences
  • However, this literature provides numerous examples of the codes that indicate considerable variations in how conventionality and the codes are exhibited by specific individuals or social networks.
  • The memorial's organization of form and materials might suggest a kind of natural, earthy, broad-sweeping and open Australianness in contrast to the ceremonious conventionality of old world edifices.
  • I've imparted to his nature this bit of ill-gotten reliance on commonplace conventionality, and I thus entreat him to explain his motives.


Pronunciation: /kənˈven(t)SH(ə)n(ə)lˌīz/
Example sentences
  • In the early twentieth century, card publishers began to standardize or conventionalize Christmas card imagery.
  • But one of the many reasons was what increasingly struck me as the constrained nature of so much historical writing, the deeply grooved, patterned, conventionalized nature of the craft itself, as it is often practiced today.
  • And even more: it contained scenes of everyday life which were contrary to the concept of the opera which still lived on stylized costumes and conventionalized characters.


Late 15th century (in the sense 'relating to a formal agreement or convention'): from French conventionnel or late Latin conventionalis, from Latin conventio(n-) 'meeting, covenant', from the verb convenire (see convene).

Words that rhyme with conventional

ascensional, attentional, declensional, intentional, tensional, three-dimensional, two-dimensional

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: con·ven·tion·al

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