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verb con·ceive \kən-ˈsēv\

Simple Definition of conceive

  • : to think of or create (something) in the mind

  • : to become pregnant

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of conceive



  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to become pregnant with (young) <conceive a child> b :  to cause to begin :  originate <a project conceived by the company's founder>

  3. 2 a :  to take into one's mind <conceive a prejudice> b :  to form a conception of :  imagine <a badly conceived design>

  4. 3 :  to apprehend by reason or imagination :  understand <unable to conceive his reasons>

  5. 4 :  to have as an opinion <I cannot conceive that he acted alone>

  6. intransitive verb
  7. 1 :  to become pregnant

  8. 2 :  to have a conception —usually used with of <conceives of death as emptiness>



Examples of conceive in a sentence

  1. When the writer conceived this role, he had a specific actor in mind to play the part.

  2. As conceived by the committee, the bill did not raise taxes.

  3. a woman who has been unable to conceive

  4. a woman who has been unable to conceive a child

Origin and Etymology of conceive

Middle English, from Anglo-French conceivre, from Latin concipere to take in, conceive, from com- + capere to take — more at heave

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of conceive

think, conceive, imagine, fancy, realize, envisage, envision mean to form an idea of. think implies the entrance of an idea into one's mind with or without deliberate consideration or reflection <I just thought of a good joke>. conceive suggests the forming and bringing forth and usually developing of an idea, plan, or design <conceived of a new marketing approach>. imagine stresses a visualization <imagine you're at the beach>. fancy suggests an imagining often unrestrained by reality but spurred by desires <fancied himself a super athlete>. realize stresses a grasping of the significance of what is conceived or imagined <realized the enormity of the task ahead>. envisage and envision imply a conceiving or imagining that is especially clear or detailed <envisaged a totally computerized operation> <envisioned a cure for the disease>.

think, cogitate, reflect, reason, speculate, deliberate mean to use one's powers of conception, judgment, or inference. think is general and may apply to any mental activity, but used alone often suggests attainment of clear ideas or conclusions <teaches students how to think>. cogitate implies deep or intent thinking <cogitated on the mysteries of nature>. reflect suggests unhurried consideration of something recalled to the mind <reflecting on fifty years of married life>. reason stresses consecutive logical thinking <able to reason brilliantly in debate>. speculate implies reasoning about things theoretical or problematic <speculated on the fate of the lost explorers>. deliberate suggests slow or careful reasoning before forming an opinion or reaching a conclusion or decision <the jury deliberated for five hours>.

CONCEIVE Defined for Kids


verb con·ceive \kən-ˈsēv\

Definition of conceive for Students



  1. 1 :  to form an idea of :  imagine <She is unable to conceive how it happened.>

  2. 2 :  think 1 <He was generally conceived of as a genius.>

Medical Dictionary


verb con·ceive \kən-ˈsēv\

Medical Definition of conceive




  1. transitive verb

  2. :  to become pregnant with (young)

  3. intransitive verb

  4. :  to become pregnant

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