Meaning of conventional in English:


Pronunciation /kənˈvɛnʃən(ə)l/

See synonyms for conventional

Translate conventional into Spanish


  • 1Based on or in accordance with what is generally done or believed.

    ‘a conventional morality had dictated behaviour’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If princes ought not to conduct themselves according to the dictates of conventional morality, how ought they to conduct themselves?’
    • ‘But business is all based on conventional wisdom.’
    • ‘A single person on £15,000 a year could borrow £48,750 under a conventional loan based on 3.25 times income.’
    • ‘Most of these pollsters have models based on a conventional election, not one in which turnout patterns move in one marked direction.’
    • ‘I used to believe the conventional wisdom that the best way to answer the telephone was to smile when you are speaking.’
    • ‘I no longer believe in conventional albums as the main thrust of my recording career.’
    • ‘‘This industry is not based on conventional career paths, so look for breaks to work your way up the ladder’ he advised.’
    • ‘All patients received conventional therapy based on the 1994 guidelines of the National Institutes of Health for the diagnosis and management of asthma.’
    • ‘String theory by its very definition is based on the conventional rules of quantum mechanics and if Hawking was right, the entire foundation of the theory would be destroyed.’
    • ‘The conventional approach to management based on analytical problem solving can no longer cope with accelerating change, complexity, uncertainty and conflict.’
    • ‘Current training is based on a conventional, linear battlefield and enables drill sergeants to concentrate on the fundamentals of marksmanship.’
    • ‘Perhaps they believe the conventional keyboard size is somehow ‘sacred.’’
    • ‘And they didn't believe in conventional medical treatment; they felt that God would look after you through the use of the diet and those sort of processes.’
    • ‘But sometimes what we assume (based on conventional viewing habits and expectations) may be wrong, or at least unclear.’
    • ‘This is a scientific hypothesis, but it challenges the metaphysical assumption on which conventional science is based.’
    • ‘They are listed solely to suggest that conventional models based on living creatures may be inadequate.’
    • ‘However, the inferences based on conventional data sets could be quite misleading.’
    normal, standard, regular, ordinary, usual, traditional, typical, common
    run-of-the-mill, prosaic, pedestrian, commonplace, unimaginative, uninspired, uninspiring, unadventurous, unremarkable, unexceptional
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    1. 1.1(of a person) greatly or overly concerned with what is generally held to be socially acceptable.
      ‘you're a bit too well-brought-up, a bit too conventional’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘‘I don't feel very comfortable with conventional people,’ Lennox later admits.’
      • ‘A few of them were practitioners of herbal medicine but most were ordinary, conventional citizens.’
      • ‘It's not just for hippies, goths and other drop outs: there's plenty for straight, conventional people like yours truly.’
      • ‘She was not a very conventional person, either.’
      • ‘The idea is to have conventional people adopt it.’
      • ‘Such people are very conventional and orderly in all they have to do.’
      • ‘Such persons are conventional and very orderly in all they have to do.’
      • ‘When performing for a more conventional audience and venue we adopt other improvisation approaches by performing shorter pieces of music and introduce minimal theatrical elements.’
      • ‘‘My parents were quite conventional,’ he recalls.’
      • ‘In his own existence, he was very conventional.’
      • ‘It is a less than conventional space, looking for a less than conventional owner, says Martin, who now wants to move on to a new renovation project, this time outside London.’
      • ‘Her planned future, teaching small Swedes, marriage to a Dane, the life of a conventional housewife, seemed remote and unromantic.’
      • ‘So when she asks if the tragedy would have happened had they been more conventional, is it not simply an illustration of the way parents blame themselves, whether at fault or not?’
      • ‘Such attitudes alarmed his more conventional sisters.’
      • ‘None of these could really be compared to the kind of conventional client that other designers had to contend with.’
      • ‘Find yourself a window and crawl through it since we all know you're not conventional enough to walk through a door.’
      • ‘I don't mean to sound too conventional, but I believe in mammograms.’
    2. 1.2(of a work of art or literature) following traditional forms and genres.
      ‘conventional love poetry’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘These buildings, characterised by their fractured plans, angular walls and jagged edges, have more in common with war memorials than conventional works of architecture.’
      • ‘Although dazzle patterns have striking parallels with early abstraction, Wilkinson's work was relatively conventional.’
      • ‘These relatively conventional works were succeeded by a period of experiment in musical theatre, to which such works as Britten's church parables are a noteworthy contribution.’
      • ‘Yet in taking the cultural turn, Freeman doesn't stray far from the mainline, for this remains in many ways a very conventional work of scholarship.’
      • ‘Yes, in some senses, it does seem to work as I would like to think, reaching deeper inside, able to touch on some levels which more conventional work cannot.’
      • ‘They are conventional works only in the sense that they treat the voice vocally, if you will.’
      • ‘The film rather easily detaches itself from the auto accident and becomes a rather conventional study of a love affair.’
      • ‘These were the most conventional works in the show and offered an interesting counterpart to the abstractions on view.’
      • ‘Endfield's next few films were more conventional assignments.’
      • ‘The story of a man in love with his wife, it will not be the conventional love triangle, the director promises.’
      • ‘In fact, its disdain for conventional musical genre - despite an obviously strong love of music - is what elevates it above the competition.’
      • ‘This is in essence a short and rather conventional biography which breaks no new ground but is a good summary of current knowledge.’
      • ‘It's a harrowing and rather conventional tale of one man overcoming many obstacles - poverty, blindness and drugs - to become a great star.’
      • ‘The film is a relatively conventional romantic comedy, based loosely on Buster Keaton's silent Seven Chances.’
      • ‘She churned out slight, conventional children's stories for 20 years to support her family before producing The Treasure Seekers at the age of 40.’
      orthodox, traditional, established, accepted, received, mainstream, prevailing, prevalent, accustomed, customary
      conservative, traditional, traditionalist, conformist, bourgeois, old-fashioned, of the old school
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    3. 1.3(of weapons or power) non-nuclear.
      ‘agreement on reducing conventional forces in Europe’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Special forces or laser-guided conventional bombs could cut off a bunker's power supplies, ventilation and exits.’
      • ‘This weapon uses conventional explosives to disperse radioactive materials, exposing troops and civilians to harmful radiation.’
      • ‘Nuclear weapons depend on conventional explosives to squeeze the fissionable material together so it reaches the critical mass needed for an atomic explosion.’
      • ‘What is disturbing is that there is no international law controlling the export of conventional weapons such as guns.’
      • ‘As a result, air power has become a finely-honed conventional weapon that is often thrust into a void.’
      • ‘You know, the number of people that they killed with conventional weapons, with artillery and small arms, was a whole lot greater than what they killed with chemicals.’
      • ‘Fewer nukes in the world is an undisputably good thing, but the issue of curbing international sales of conventional weapons remains unaddressed.’
      • ‘The provision to the forces of new types and systems of high-efficiency and conventional weapons will lead to an increased role of delivery of fire for effect.’
      • ‘So long as he has only conventional weapons we can overawe him with our armed forces and clobber him back into line if he misbehaves.’
      • ‘The Air Force ended the Cold War with a substantial stockpile of conventional weapons.’
      • ‘It's proved to be a black market source of conventional weapons and also has rockets modified for use as dirty bombs.’
      • ‘That, though, was an attack using conventional weapons.’
      • ‘You can see mushroom clouds forming from very large explosions that are caused by conventional weapons.’
      • ‘It is more likely that it would require the pressure of major great power competition in the arena of conventional armament to press modern armed forces to realize such changes to their fullest.’
      • ‘This country has never conformed to international agreements for reducing nuclear and conventional weapons.’
      • ‘And thank God only conventional weapons were used.’
      • ‘It appears this is an extension of our policy on the sale of conventional weapons.’
  • 2Bridge
    (of a bid) intended to convey a particular meaning according to an agreed convention.

    Often contrasted with natural

    ‘West made a conventional bid showing a hand with at least 5 spades’
    • ‘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.’


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).