conceit

noun
con·​ceit | \ kən-ˈsēt \

Definition of conceit 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a(1) : a result of mental activity : thought
(2) : individual opinion
b : favorable opinion especially : excessive appreciation of one's own worth or virtue … the landlord's conceit of his own superior knowledge … — Adam Smith
2 : a fancy item or trifle Conceits were fancy desserts, made either of sugar … or pastry.— Francie Owen
3a : a fanciful idea
b : an elaborate or strained metaphor The poem abounds in metaphysical conceits.
c : use or presence of such conceits in poetry
d : an organizing theme or concept … found his conceit for the film early …— Peter Wilkinson … the historian's conceit that the past is forever prologue …— Leon V. Sigal

conceit

verb
conceited; conceiting; conceits

Definition of conceit (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 obsolete : conceive, understand
2 chiefly dialectal : imagine
3 dialectal British : to take a fancy to

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Examples of conceit in a Sentence

Noun

His conceit has earned him many enemies. the conceit that the crowd at the outdoor rock concert was a vast sea of people waving to the beat of the music

Verb

after a huge meal like that, I cannot conceit eating another thing for the rest of the day
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The guy's crazy, but man, that conceit makes for some compelling fiction. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "TV Technica 2018: Our favorite shows and binges," 24 Dec. 2018 But there's a reason Smash Ultimate can get away with its bonkers, thousand-fight conceit, especially during that mode's pacing fumbles. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Smash Bros. Ultimate review: The best fighting game on any Nintendo system," 6 Dec. 2018 Cool was unemotional and solitary, a dry energy that emanated from introspection and attitude rather than from conceit and swagger. Marc Myers, WSJ, "The Original Cool of TV’s Peter Gunn," 31 Aug. 2018 For the last decade or more, the Berkeley’s Prêt-à-Portea has run on a charming central conceit: the delicious morsels served, whether cakes, cookies, or sandwiches, take their inspiration from the most recent season’s fashions. Mark Ellwood, Condé Nast Traveler, "15 Best Places for Afternoon Tea in London," 3 Mar. 2018 The film, which brought Temple to national attention, works on the conceit that FDR wants performing artists to boost Depression-era American spirits, thereby goosing the economic outlook and bringing the nation out of its slump. Harper's BAZAAR, "The Dangers of Parenting a Beautiful Daughter," 6 June 2017 But the connections are faulty and the writing is weak; the Romanov/Romanoff conceit is like caviar on a ham sandwich. John Anderson, WSJ, "‘The Romanoffs’ Review: Far From Revolutionary," 11 Oct. 2018 This clever conceit returns from the original and surprisingly solid Unfriended, and at its best, U:DW does an even better job of showing how to frame a film from this unique perspective. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Unfriended: Dark Web wardrives straight into the bad-tech-film toilet," 20 July 2018 Thurber makes that trickery explicit by setting one action scene in a fun house hall of mirrors, a derivative trompe l’oeil conceit of which the filmmakers prove far too enamored. Justin Chang, latimes.com, "Dwayne Johnson scales the heights in the thrillingly dumb 'Skyscraper'," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'conceit.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of conceit

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

Verb

1557, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for conceit

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from conceivre — see conceive

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Learn More about conceit

Statistics for conceit

Last Updated

11 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for conceit

The first known use of conceit was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for conceit

conceit

noun

English Language Learners Definition of conceit

: too much pride in your own worth or goodness

: an idea that shows imagination

conceit

noun
con·​ceit | \ kən-ˈsēt \

Kids Definition of conceit

: too much pride in a person's own abilities or qualities : excessive self-esteem

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Comments on conceit

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