Definition of conservatism in US English:



  • 1Commitment to traditional values and ideas with opposition to change or innovation.

    ‘proponents of theological conservatism’
    • ‘There is this conservatism, this lack of understanding, this ignorance.’
    • ‘This is a fable that talks about the existence and acceptance of differences in a time of conservatism and religious bigotry.’
    • ‘I think it says something about the conservatism of Australian producers.’
    • ‘Even the war films that do not make use of these stereotypes are, for the most part, possessed of an inherent conservatism.’
    • ‘This perception is rent by contradictions between assimilation and separation, conservatism and liberalism, and tradition and progression.’
    • ‘The dichotomy stems from his musical conservatism.’
    • ‘Its conservatism led patrons of modern art to look for alternatives.’
    • ‘Like Nabokov, whose family was similarly fallen, he displayed a complex mix of elite liberalism and disdainful conservatism.’
    • ‘Insecurity is the basis of our conservatism.’
    • ‘Economics risks suffocating architecture, but so does polite conservatism and a consumerist attitude.’
  • 2The holding of political views that favor free enterprise, private ownership, and socially conservative ideas.

    ‘a party that espoused conservatism’
    • ‘Amid the urban riots, campus unrest, economic strains, and Vietnam War controversies of the late 1960s, Republican conservatism revived.’
    • ‘All energy was put into judicial censoring action, finding allies within the Right, thereby showing a vehement conservatism within feminism.’
    • ‘He himself describes his political views as a "Machiavellian brand of conservatism."’
    • ‘It was a carefully choreographed convention, one that strived to put distance between the harsh, ideological brand of conservatism practiced by the party's old guard.’
    • ‘The conservative traditions that have been the cement of the social capital of rural communities have underpinned the political conservatism of rural Australia.’
    • ‘Democrats scoffed at the Republican mantra of "compassionate conservatism" that will provide little more than empty rhetoric.’
    • ‘The political history of Portugal in the 20th century has done much to reinforce a deeply entrenched conservatism.’
    • ‘Critical perspectives on economics are key to countering the rise of political conservatism on campuses.’
    • ‘He goes on to argue that the "new conservatism is being put into place through cultural rather than political strategies."’
    • ‘The hallmark of this transition has been his decisive action installing an administration that is long on experience and generally high on conservatism.’
    1. 2.1 The doctrines of the Conservative Party of Great Britain or a similar party elsewhere.
      ‘the thrust of post-war Conservatism’
      • ‘A Conservative MP, he maintained in the 1920s that Conservatism was "above all things a spirit, not an abstract doctrine."’
      • ‘He claimed that during the previous 20 years, the Conservatives had emphasized the strong features of Conservatism.’
      • ‘Whereas his predecessor sought to dominate her party, he hoped to heal divisions and to create a new, consensual form of Conservatism.’
      • ‘That capture of a weakened Labour machine by the Left would not suffice to defeat the new Conservatism.’
      • ‘For Major, Conservatism is about allowing people to fulfill their potential.’
      • ‘He does not radiate the same enjoyment in scoring off the prime minister as he did when his main targets were the Crown and Conservatism.’
      • ‘The college became a bastion of Conservatism in the Thatcher Era.’
      • ‘They gave Chamberlainite managerial Conservatism a broad support.’
      • ‘Conservatism revived with the dual leadership of Bentinck and Disraeli.’
      • ‘The essays on Australian Conservatism provided some insight into conservative ideology and organization between the world wars.’