(adj.)
1. Literally, indicative of a sparing application. Frugal.

2. In the U.S., commonly used by many members of the Republican Party to contrast themselves with liberal politicians, commonly of the Democratic Party.

3. Originally used by Republican Party (U.S.) members to mean conservative application of laws, or minimal government.

4. In modern times, used to indicate existing or past values as opposed to new values. In this sense, "conservative" refers to personal behavior rather than the use of laws. A synonym for this definition would be "unchanging."
Usage notes:

When using the word, it is important to note whether it is used to refer to a political theory/system or personal values/behavior.

In the case of number 3 above, both the Republican and Democratic parties hold conservative _political_ values (in that they want minimal government regulation), but about different subjects. For example, the Democratic Party typically believes in conservative (minimal) use of laws regarding drugs, sexual practices, and film/TV. The Republican Party does not follow conservative political theory in those matters, but does for issues of taxation, guns, and employment practices.

However, even though both parties hold conservative political values in some cases, neither maintains a consistant philosophy based on conservative application of government regulation. Both the Republican and Democratic parties in the U.S. use the word to refer to enforcing conservative _personal_values_ (such as those influenced by religious background or otherwise, see number 4 above), but with differing opinions as to whether or not it is a good thing.

The original political use for the word conservative, as in number 3 above, is more similar to the political adjective/noun libertarian in use today, which describes a philosophy of minimal government,
by ed July 25, 2004
People who tend to have black and white opinions on nearly every issue in the universe. Don't realize the importance of situational ethics. This is most likely the result of a fundamentalist religious upbringing.
A nine year old girl, tragically, is raped and impregnated by her stepfather. What to do? According to the religious absolutist, abortion is, under all circumstances, 100% wrong. Unless the birth is life-threatening, she can't abort.

Moderates: I don't normally support abortion, but here it's necessary.

Liberals: I think abortion is a right that belongs to the mother. I would support her right to choose if this girl was nine or twenty nine, raped or non-raped. (although i would personally disapprove of it in the latter).

Conservatives: Fucking baby killers! It's an innocent fucking BABY we're talking about!
(as opposed to a non-sentient cluster of cells, lacking a nervous system and the ability to feel pain)
by Submitter of Words June 13, 2011
A person or political party so afraid of the world changing they feel the need to force every living being on the planet to reject anything new.
Person 1: I prefer the Conservative party.
Person 2: Give me one good reason why rejecting novel ideas is a good thing.
Person 1: Well, gay marriage should be illegal, same goes for freedom of speech on the internet.
Person 2: That right there is a Neophobe.
by ThatObjectivePerson December 08, 2014
1) An ideology which espouses less government in theory, but has consistently failed in reality. Every "conservative" administration had grown government, and done more to restrict freedoms.

Conservatives blame various national problems such as health care, the economy, and what ever suits the moment on "illegals". This high degree of xenophobia implies a distrust, and dislike of non-white immigrants in reality.

The vast majority of conservatives are as described above, the few "minority" conservatives don't discount the xenophobia of this ideology.
Conservative: We need to keep the illegals out, they're ruining our country.

American: Which ones, the illegal Irish immigrants or the illegal Mexicans?

Conservative: Well uh, it's so easy to cross the Mexico border. Illegals, illegals!!
by ixbo47 September 20, 2009
Someone who didn't read the constitution

Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,- conservatives beleive that Religion, specifically christianity should be the guiding hand of government.

or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble- Connservatives are pro-police violence against protesters and often had liberal journalists killed during Vietnam, also they complain about the "Liberal Media" despicte watching nothing but the idiotic bile that oozes out of Rush Limbaugh's and Sean Hannidy's mouthes.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. -during both the Cold War and the Bush administration phones were tapped and personal records were seized warrantlessly by Conservative governments.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state- not only were gitmo inmates denied a speedy and public trial they were denied an trial by the Bush administration.
A conservative is someone who will look at this definition and mumbble " pot-smokin, flag burnin, baby eatin, Nigger lovin, america haters an then vote it down with his eleventh finger.
by Damn Straight Clint July 27, 2009
A person who espouses the idea of "less government". However, they tend to espouse the idea of "less government" more when it comes to spending money for social programs. They have no qualms about looking over people's shoulders, spying on or jailing people for suspected "un-American activities" at a base that is not even on American soil. Among their interference in our lives: spying on cell phone calls without permission of Congress, saying, "I'm the president. Why do I need anyone's permission?", or using brute military force to enforce their vision of that things should be like on the outside world. They believe in torture in the name of national security. As far as financial responsibility, they believe in shrinking down every part of the government but giving the Department of Defense what is essentially a blank check, and run up horrific deficits fighting senseless, endless wars. Strength is good, but waste is not. They are often religious, but they seem to have Jesus Christ confused with Ronald Reagan. Their philosophies are often subtly or blatantly racist and xenophobic, and they have been known to advocate disenfranchisement of women and minorities (see: ann coulter because these groups overwhelmingly vote liberal and are growing much faster than the aging white male voter base they rely on. Their failed policies were rejected in the 2008 election, by the "true" patriots of our great country.
Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter are examples of the consummate conservative gone mad: God, church, family, country, torture, domestic spying, and killing the ragheads.
by Proud American Liberal! February 15, 2009
People whose political philosiphy is based on falsities. There are three kinds of conservatives. The first ones are the rich powrful people. They are conservatives because they are out of touch with the problems in society. Then there's religious conseratives, who ironically think that Jesus wants them to fuck the world up. The third group is the "blue-collar" conservatives who have no idea what conservatism really is; they just follow the first two groups blindly.
Examples of the three conservatives' groups:
Group 1: see George W. Bush
Group 2: see Catholic Church
Group 3: see red states, hicks, and rednecks
by Anne Coulter June 17, 2008

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