American English

Definition of conventional adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1(often disapproving) tending to follow what is done or considered acceptable by society in general; normal and ordinary, and perhaps not very interesting conventional behavior/morality She's very conventional in her views. opposite unconventional
  2. 2[usually before noun] following what is traditional or the way something has been done for a long time conventional methods/approaches It's not a hotel, in the conventional sense, but rather a whole village turned into a hotel. opposite unconventional
  3. 3[usually before noun] (especially of weapons) not nuclear conventional forces/weapons A conventional war would still cause unacceptable devastation. a conventional power station (= using oil or coal as fuel, rather than nuclear power)
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noun [uncountable]
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adverb conventionally dressed conventionally grown food (= grown according to conventional methods) Though not conventionally pretty (= not pretty according to generally accepted ideas of what is pretty), she dressed with flair. Gross National Product (GNP) is conventionally used to indicate economic development.
conventional/received wisdom
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2the view or belief that most people hold Conventional wisdom has it that riots only ever happen in cities.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: conventional