Definition of conservative in English:

conservative

Pronunciation /kənˈsərvədiv/ /kənˈsərvədɪv/

See synonyms for conservative

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adjective

  • 1Averse to change or innovation and holding traditional values.

    • ‘they were very conservative in their outlook’
    traditionalist, traditional, conventional, orthodox, stable, old-fashioned, dyed-in-the-wool, unchanging, hidebound
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    1. 1.1(of dress or taste) sober and conventional.
      • ‘a conservative suit’
      conventional, sober, quiet, modest, plain, unobtrusive, unostentatious, restrained, reserved, subdued, subtle, low-key, demure
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  • 2(in a political context) favoring free enterprise, private ownership, and socially traditional ideas.

    Often contrasted with liberal (sense 1 of the adjective)

    right-wing, reactionary, traditionalist, unprogressive, establishmentarian, blimpish, ultra-right
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    1. 2.1Relating to the Conservative Party in the UK or a similar party elsewhere.
      • ‘the Conservative government’
  • 3(of an estimate) purposely low for the sake of caution.

    • ‘the film was not cheap—$30,000 is a conservative estimate’
    low, cautious, understated, unexaggerated, moderate, reasonable
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  • 4(of surgery or medical treatment) intended to control rather than eliminate a condition, with existing tissue preserved as far as possible.

noun

  • 1A person who is averse to change and holds traditional values.

    • ‘he was considered a conservative in his approach to Catholic teachings’
    right-winger, reactionary, rightist, diehard
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  • 2A person favoring free enterprise, private ownership, and socially traditional ideas.

    Often contrasted with liberal (noun)

    • ‘the Massachusetts liberal who conservatives love to hate’
    1. 2.1A supporter or member of the Conservative Party in the UK or a similar party elsewhere.

Origin

Late Middle English (in the sense ‘aiming to preserve’): from late Latin conservativus, from conservat- ‘conserved’, from the verb conservare (see conserve). Current senses date from the mid 19th century.