Conservative Con*serv"a*tive, a. [Cf. F. conservatif.] 1. Having power to preserve in a safe of entire state, or from loss, waste, or injury; preservative. [1913 Webster]

2. Tending or disposed to maintain existing institutions; opposed to change or innovation. [1913 Webster]

3. Of or pertaining to a political party which favors the conservation of existing institutions and forms of government, as the Conservative party in England; -- contradistinguished from {Liberal} and {Radical}. [1913 Webster]

We have always been conscientiously attached to what is called the Tory, and which might with more propriety be called the Conservative, party. --Quart. Rev. (1830). [1913 Webster]

{Conservative system} (Mech.), a material system of such a nature that after the system has undergone any series of changes, and been brought back in any manner to its original state, the whole work done by external agents on the system is equal to the whole work done by the system overcoming external forces. --Clerk Maxwell. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • conservative — [kən sʉr′və tiv] adj. [OFr conservatif < LL conservativus] 1. conserving or tending to conserve; preservative 2. tending to preserve established traditions or institutions and to resist or oppose any changes in these [conservative politics,… …   English World dictionary

  • conservative — con‧ser‧va‧tive [kənˈsɜːvətɪv ǁ ɜːr ] adjective 1. careful to avoid taking risks: • He would be better taking a conservative approach to his new mortgage and opting for a fixed rate. 2. careful not to state a value or amount to be bigger or… …   Financial and business terms

  • conservative — ► ADJECTIVE 1) averse to change and holding traditional values. 2) (in a political context) favouring free enterprise, private ownership, and socially conservative ideas. 3) (Conservative) relating to a Conservative Party. 4) (of an estimate)… …   English terms dictionary

  • conservative — late 14c., conservatyf, from M.Fr. conservatif, from L.L. conservativus, from L. conservatus, pp. of conservare (see CONSERVE (Cf. conserve)). As a modern political tradition, conservatism traces to Edmund Burke s opposition to the French… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Conservative — Con*serv a*tive, n. 1. One who, or that which, preserves from ruin, injury, innovation, or radical change; a preserver; a conserver. [1913 Webster] The Holy Spirit is the great conservative of the new life. Jer. Taylor. [1913 Webster] 2. One who… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • conservative — in the meaning ‘moderate, cautious, low’, as in a conservative estimate, is one of Fowler s lost causes. He regarded it as a ridiculous ‘slipshod extension’ and rejected it outright. But it is now well established in the language and is… …   Modern English usage

  • conservative — [adj] cautious, moderate, tending to preserve the status quo bourgeois, constant, controlled, conventional, die hard, fearful, firm, fogyish*, fuddy duddy*, guarded, hard hat*, hidebound, holding to, illiberal, in a rut*, inflexible, middle of… …   New thesaurus

  • conservative — index frugal, guarded, illiberal, orthodox, protective, uncompromising Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • conservative — 1. (conservative) (3970↑, 1677↓) 1) One who espouses a political philosophy based on tradition and social stability, stressing established institutions, and preferring gradual development to abrupt change. 2) One who believes in less government… …   Urban English dictionary

  • Conservative — The Conservative – Liberal Democrat Coalition Agreement (also called The Coalition: Our Programme For Government) was a policy document drawn up following the 2010 general election in the United Kingdom. It formed the terms of reference governing …   Wikipedia

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