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[kuh n-ven-shuh n] /kənˈvɛn ʃən/
a meeting or formal assembly, as of representatives or delegates, for discussion of and action on particular matters of common concern.
U.S. Politics. a representative party assembly to nominate candidates and adopt platforms and party rules.
an agreement, compact, or contract.
an international agreement, especially one dealing with a specific matter, as postal service or copyright.
a rule, method, or practice established by usage; custom:
the convention of showing north at the top of a map.
general agreement or consent; accepted usage, especially as a standard of procedure.
Bridge. any of a variety of established systems or methods of bidding or playing that allows partners to convey certain information about their hands.
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English convencio(u)n (< Middle French) < Latin conventiōn- (stem of conventiō) agreement, literally, a coming together. See convene, -tion
Related forms
anticonvention, adjective
counterconvention, noun
postconvention, adjective
preconvention, noun
proconvention, adjective
unconvention, noun
1. Convention, assembly, conference, convocation name meetings for particular purposes. Convention usually suggests a meeting of delegates representing political, church, social, or fraternal organizations. Assembly usually implies a meeting for a settled or customary purpose, as for discussion, legislation, or participation in a social function. Conference suggests a meeting for consultation and discussion about business or professional problems. Convocation denotes a (church) assembly, the members of which have been summoned for a special purpose; chapel services at some colleges are called convocations. 3. pact, treaty. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for convention
  • He transgressed the borderlines of convention but he felt emotionally bound to tradition.
  • Our poll, the first taken in the week after the convention, uses a different technique from the others.
  • However by global convention loans are not marked to market, but carried at cost and impaired gradually.
  • convention holds that politics stops at the water's edge.
  • The clowns' convention had them all standing around complaining about their ulcers and the sad state of their investments.
  • Frequently, journals will be flooded with submissions directly after the discipline's annual convention.
  • The marriage of the lady in the mask, which unties the knot of the play, is no better than an accepted convention of the stage.
  • The romantic poets eagerly sought to supersede this convention by vivid, appropriate words.
  • Somewhere near a bank or convention collecting cash or glory.
  • It's an all-day-into-the-evening convention, a place full of debate and discussion and celebration, of chanting and drumming.
British Dictionary definitions for convention


  1. a large formal assembly of a group with common interests, such as a political party or trade union
  2. the persons attending such an assembly
(US, politics) an assembly of delegates of one party to select candidates for office
(diplomacy) an international agreement second only to a treaty in formality: a telecommunications convention
any agreement, compact, or contract
the most widely accepted or established view of what is thought to be proper behaviour, good taste, etc
an accepted rule, usage, etc: a convention used by printers
(bridge) Also called conventional. a bid or play not to be taken at its face value, which one's partner can interpret according to a prearranged bidding system
Word Origin
C15: from Latin conventiō an assembling, agreeing
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Contemporary definitions for convention's 21st Century Lexicon
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Word Origin and History for convention

early 15c., "agreement," from Middle French convention and directly from Latin conventionem (nominative conventio) "meeting, assembly, covenant," noun of action from past participle stem of convenire (see convene).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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