If you are conservative, you aren’t necessarily a card-carrying member of the Republican party (though you might be); it means you resist change.

Conservative has the word conserve in it, which means "to hold on to, or save." In a drought, you want to be conservative in your water use. If you don’t get paid that much and don’t want to use credit cards, you’d better be conservative with your money. And if you dress in a conservative way, you prefer traditional styles to new trends and fads.

Definitions of conservative
  1. adjective
    resistant to change
    pompously ultraconservative and nationalistic
    conservative in professional manner
    fusty, nonprogressive, standpat, unprogressive
    old-fashioned and out of date
    hidebound, traditionalist
    stubbornly conservative and narrow-minded
    extremely conservative
    mainstream, orthodox
    adhering to what is commonly accepted
    of or belonging to the political or intellectual right
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    tolerant of change; not bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or tradition
    having or showing active concern for protection of civil liberties protected by law
    having or demonstrating belief in the essential goodness of man and the autonomy of the individual; favoring civil and political liberties, government by law with the consent of the governed, and protection from arbitrary authority
    having or showing belief in the need for economic growth in addition to traditional liberalistic values
    progressive, reform-minded, reformist
    favoring or promoting reform (often by government action)
    socialised, socialized
    under group or government control
    welfare-statist, welfarist
    of or relating to a welfare state
    of or belonging to the political or intellectual left
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  2. adjective
    conforming to the standards and conventions of the middle class
    synonyms: bourgeois, materialistic
    occupying a socioeconomic position intermediate between those of the lower classes and the wealthy
  3. adjective
    unimaginatively conventional
    synonyms: button-down, buttoned-down
    unimaginative and conformist
  4. noun
    a person who is reluctant to accept changes and new ideas
    synonyms: conservativist
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    liberal, liberalist, progressive
    a person who favors a political philosophy of progress and reform and the protection of civil liberties
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    a conservative advocate of capitalism
    someone who conforms to established standards of conduct (especially in religious matters)
    a conservative who is old-fashioned or dull in attitude or appearance
    a conservative who is uncompromising
    a conservative who advocates only minor reforms in government or politics
    an extremely old-fashioned conservative
    neocon, neoconservative
    a conservative who subscribes to neoconservatism
    extreme right-winger, reactionary, ultraconservative
    an extreme conservative; an opponent of progress or liberalism
    right-winger, rightist
    a member of a right wing political party
    square, square toes
    a formal and conservative person with old-fashioned views
    diehard, traditionalist
    one who adheres to traditional views
    a reactionary politician in the United States (usually from the South)
    Blimp, Colonel Blimp
    any elderly pompous reactionary ultranationalistic person (after the cartoon character created by Sir David Low)
    an adherent of fascism or other right-wing authoritarian views
    monarchist, royalist
    an advocate of the principles of monarchy
    Rip van Winkle
    a person oblivious to social changes
    a supporter of traditional political and social institutions against the forces of reform; a political conservative
    type of:
    adult, grownup
    a fully developed person from maturity onward
  5. adjective
    avoiding excess
    “a conservative estimate”
    synonyms: cautious
    being within reasonable or average limits; not excessive or extreme
  6. adjective
    having social or political views favoring conservatism
    of or belonging to the political or intellectual right
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