the disposition to preserve or restore what is established and traditional and to limit change.
the principles and practices of political conservatives.

1825–35; conservat(ive) + -ism

anticonservatism, noun
hyperconservatism, noun
overconservatism, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
conservatism (kənˈsɜːvəˌtɪzəm)
1.  opposition to change and innovation
2.  a political philosophy advocating the preservation of the best of the established order in society and opposing radical change

Conservatism (kənˈsɜːvəˌtɪzəm)
1.  the form of conservatism advocated by the Conservative Party
2.  the policies, doctrines, or practices of the Conservative Party

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1835, in reference to the Conservative party in British politics; from conservative. From 1840 in ref. to conservative principles generally.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

conservatism definition

A general preference for the existing order of society, and an opposition to efforts to bring about sharp change. (Compare liberalism.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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