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I was looking at the dictionary meaning of 'traditionally' and it was given as :

traditionally-according to tradition;in a traditional manner;

But when I was looking at the following sentences I just couldn't fit them into the definition given above. Please help me

Traditionally, China has had a rich architectural heritage within which even the most elementary architectural eye could identify common architectural motifs.

Goldman Sachs has traditionally been the highest-paying investment bank on Wall Street.

The police can no longer depend on support from the Conservative Party, traditionally seen as a firm friend.

Does 'traditionally' here mean historically? or for a long time? I want to know in what sense 'traditionally' is being used here?

I can't understand the dictionary meaning to these sentences. Could anyone be so kind as to explain to me clearly how traditionally is being used here? I would be grateful to them.

Thank you

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Perhaps the best way to understand traditionally is to bear in mind the meaning of tradition - something 'long-established, customary, conventional' (OED). These meanings, especially the first, fit the examples you give:

Traditionally, China has had a rich architectural heritage...

China has a long-established rich architectural heritage...

Goldman Sachs has traditionally been the highest-paying investment bank...

Goldman Sachs has a long-established reputation for being the highest-paying investment bank...

The police can no longer depend on ... the Conservative Party, traditionally seen as a firm friend.

The police can no longer depend on ... the Conservative Party, customarily seen as a firm friend.

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Words like traditionally can be understood in at least two ways. I'll illustrate this with a couple of examples using the word legally as it may be more familiar in your context:

  1. Legally, the driver was within the speed limit. This is a statement about whether something was legal or illegal.

  2. Legally, that is a civil matter. This is not a statement about whether the 'civil matter' was legal of illegal - it is instead a statement about using the term civil matter in the context of law (rather than, for example, social acceptability).

Your China example is of type 2, while the Goldman Sachs and police examples are of type 1.

The China example says that the architectural heritage is rich in tradition. That is, there are many 'buildings' built in traditional styles.

The Goldman Sachs example uses traditionally in the sense of in the past. That is, GS has paid well in the past. There isn't necessarily an implication that it won't continue to do so or, for that matter, that it will.

The police example is similar to the GS example, but in this case the context implies that the history of friendship may not continue.

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