Definition of conservative adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//kənˈsɜːvətɪv//
    ; NAmE NAmE//kənˈsɜːrvətɪv//
    Political views and systems
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  1. 1  opposed to great or sudden social change; showing that you prefer traditional styles and values the conservative views of his parents music which is accessible to an audience with extremely conservative tastes Her style of dress was never conservative. See related entries: Political views and systems
  2. 2 (also Conservative) connected with the British Conservative Party Conservative members/supporters See related entries: Political views and systems
  3. 3  (of an estimate) lower than what is probably the real amount or number At a conservative estimate, he'll be earning £50 000.
  4. Word Originlate Middle English (in the sense ‘aiming to preserve’): from late Latin conservativus, from conservat- ‘conserved’, from the verb conservare ‘to preserve’, from con- ‘together’ + servare ‘to keep’. Current senses date from the mid 19th cent.Extra examples Banks are notoriously conservative about their dealings with clients. Her views are by no means ideologically conservative. She takes a basically conservative view of society. The gloomy forecasts are based on overly conservative projections of growth. a fundamentally conservative political outlook a staunchly conservative nominee a traditionally conservative profession moderately conservative voters the army’s inherently conservative values the culturally conservative world of commerce and industry Popular taste in art remained conservative. She was dressed neatly in conservative black. The peasantry were no longer a conservative force in society. They were conservative in their political outlook. With age, enthusiasm for the radical is often replaced with more conservative views of the world.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: conservative