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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. 2014.
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Examples from the web for conventions
  • The process has four steps: the precinct caucuses, the county conventions, the district conventions and the state convention.
  • Finally, familiarize yourself with the conventions of various discussion formats within your discipline.
  • Every bit of past and future advancement rests on two things: technological protocols and social conventions.
  • That's because there are strict naming conventions for astronomical bodies.
  • Knockoffs of the golden bikini are a staple of science fiction and comic book conventions.
  • conventions are a huge expense to the party and the media.
  • Faced with uncertainty, they resort to whatever conventions they can find to cling to, from popular wisdom to new theories.
  • Replication, peer review and the conventions of science do work.
  • Journalistic conventions generally mitigate against directly castigating average people for their poor choice of leaders.
  • The thing about creations and conventions is that they typically could have been done differently.
British Dictionary definitions for conventions


  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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Word Origin and History for conventions



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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