a. A formal meeting of members, representatives, or delegates, as of a political party, fraternal society, profession, or industry.
b. The body of persons attending such an assembly: called the convention to order.
2. An agreement between states, sides, or military forces, especially an international agreement dealing with a specific subject, such as the treatment of prisoners of war.
3. General agreement on or acceptance of certain practices or attitudes: By convention, north is at the top of most maps.
4. A practice or procedure widely observed in a group, especially to facilitate social interaction; a custom: the convention of shaking hands.
5. A widely used and accepted device or technique, as in drama, literature, or painting: the theatrical convention of the aside.
[Middle English convencioun, from Latin conventiō, conventiōn-, meeting, from conventus, past participle of convenīre, to assemble; see CONVENE.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.