Definition of CONVENTIONAL


Conventional is an adjective that describes something that is based on or in accordance with what is generally accepted, practiced, or recognized as customary or standard within a particular society, culture, or context. It embodies adherence to established norms, traditions, or practices. Let’s delve into the concept of conventionality further:

Adherence to Established Norms: Conventional refers to behaviors, practices, or beliefs that conform to established norms or standards within a given society or cultural context. These norms may encompass various aspects of life, including social interactions, moral values, etiquette, and lifestyle choices.

Recognition of Customary Practices: Conventional attitudes or actions often reflect an acknowledgment and acceptance of customary practices that have been passed down through generations or have become ingrained in societal behavior over time. They represent the prevailing attitudes or behaviors within a particular community or group.

Alignment with Social Expectations: Conventional behavior typically aligns with social expectations and norms, emphasizing conformity to established standards rather than challenging or deviating from them. It may involve adhering to societal conventions in areas such as dress, speech, family structure, or career choices.

Conservatism and Tradition: Conventional attitudes are often associated with conservatism and a preference for traditional values or ways of life. They prioritize stability, order, and continuity over innovation or change, valuing the preservation of existing customs and institutions.

Limitations and Resistance to Change: While conventionality provides a sense of stability and predictability, it can also be restrictive and resistant to change or progress. Conventional thinking may hinder creativity, diversity, and individual expression by enforcing conformity to established norms and stifling alternative perspectives.

Cultural and Contextual Variation: What is considered conventional can vary significantly across different cultures, societies, and historical periods, reflecting the diverse values, beliefs, and practices that shape human behavior. What may be conventional in one context could be unconventional or even taboo in another.

Conventional describes adherence to established norms, practices, and beliefs within a particular society or cultural context. It emphasizes conformity to accepted standards and customs, reflecting the prevailing attitudes and behaviors of a given community. While conventionality provides stability and social cohesion, it can also limit individual expression and innovation, highlighting the complex interplay between tradition and change in shaping human behavior and societal norms.

Examples of CONVENTIONAL in a sentence

  • Conventional describes something that is based on or in accordance with general agreement, practice, or custom.
  • Traditional gender roles are conventional societal norms that prescribe specific behaviors and expectations for men and women.
  • Conventional wisdom suggests that hard work and perseverance are keys to success.
  • The couple opted for a conventional wedding ceremony, following the customs and rituals of their culture.
  • Conventional farming methods rely heavily on synthetic pesticides and fertilizers to maximize crop yields.
  • In art, breaking away from conventional techniques and styles can lead to innovative and groundbreaking works.
  • Despite advancements in technology, many people still prefer conventional methods of communication, such as face-to-face interaction.
  • Conventional medicine focuses on treating symptoms rather than addressing underlying causes, leading some to seek alternative therapies.


The term conventional traces its etymological roots through Latin and Middle English, reflecting its evolution from a foundation in customary practices to broader applications in modern English.

  • Latin Origins: The word conventional originates from the Latin “conventionālis,” derived from “conventus,” meaning “assembly” or “meeting.” In ancient Rome, “conventionālis” denoted that which pertained to an assembly or agreement, often referring to established customs or traditions within society.
  • Transition to Middle English: As Latin influences permeated into Middle English, “conventional” emerged as an adjective describing things in accordance with established customs or norms. During the medieval period, it denoted practices, beliefs, or behaviors that were widely accepted or followed within a community or culture.
  • Semantic Development: Over time, the term conventional underwent semantic expansion, extending beyond its original context of social customs or traditions. In Middle English and early modern usage, it came to describe anything conforming to established norms, standards, or expectations, whether in behavior, language, art, or other domains.
  • Modern Usage: In contemporary English, conventional retains its historical connotations of adherence to established practices or norms. It commonly describes things that are customary, traditional, or typical within a particular context, contrasting with unconventional or innovative alternatives. For example, conventional wisdom refers to widely accepted beliefs or principles, while a conventional approach implies following established methods or procedures.

Through its linguistic evolution from Latin to Middle English and its adaptation into modern usage, the term conventional encapsulates the idea of conformity to established norms or practices, reflecting the enduring influence of tradition and custom in human societies.


  • Traditional
  • Standard
  • Routine
  • Common
  • Regular
  • Established
  • Typical
  • Usual


  • Unconventional
  • Nontraditional
  • Unusual
  • Atypical
  • Innovative
  • Uncommon
  • Nonconformist
  • Original


  • Orthodox
  • Customary
  • Normative
  • Accepted
  • Formal
  • Conformist
  • Regularized
  • Canonical

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