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conventional wisdom

something that is generally believed; prudence.
Origin of conventional wisdom
probably earlier than 1965-70 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for conventional wisdom
  • First, the notion that government is fundamentally inefficient and unproductive has become conventional wisdom.
  • Contrary to increasingly popular conventional wisdom, effective development aid isn't impossible.
  • conventional wisdom says such discoveries should not be happening now.
  • According to the conventional wisdom, there was a culture clash.
  • That's right-conventional wisdom may say to stick to the dry season, and that's fine.
  • conventional wisdom suggested that breaking the record would mean running faster with the same strategy.
  • The conventional wisdom has reversed the actual relationship between expectations and student outcomes.
  • conventional wisdom back then dictated that you couldn't really teach a speech course online.
  • First, it's a good idea to have daily work goals, or so the conventional wisdom goes.
  • And that's why the conventional wisdom is to sit on your hands and wait.
Contemporary definitions for conventional wisdom

the ideas, opinions, or understanding that are considered to be generally accepted by the public


See how many of these sayings you can complete to test your conventional wisdom.'s 21st Century Lexicon
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Idioms and Phrases with conventional wisdom

conventional wisdom

A widely held belief on which most people act. For example, According to conventional wisdom, an incumbent nearly always wins more votes than a new candidate. This term was invented by John Kenneth Galbraith, who used it in The Affluent Society (1958) to describe economic ideas that are familiar, predictable, and therefore accepted by the general public. Today it is used in any context where public opinion has considerable influence on the course of events.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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