conceit

noun
con·​ceit | \ kən-ˈsēt How to pronounce conceit (audio) \

Definition of conceit

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : favorable opinion especially : excessive appreciation of one's own worth or virtue … the landlord's conceit of his own superior knowledge … — Adam Smith
b(1) : a result of mental activity : thought
(2) : individual opinion
2a : 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
3 : a fancy item or trifle Conceits were fancy desserts, made either of sugar … or pastry.— Francie Owen

conceit

verb
conceited; conceiting; conceits

Definition of conceit (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

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

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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 His mythology’s rhetoric — that a black Polo-wearing kid from Chicago’s wins are also ours — sells that conceit. Brian Josephs, EW.com, "Kanye West is an unreliable pastor on Jesus Is King," 28 Oct. 2019 The overarching conceit works well, even if the legal discussions of mind-reading slow things down. BostonGlobe.com, "Caleb Crain’s ‘Overthrow’ a political thriller with a radical spirit," 22 Aug. 2019 To bring fresh life to the conceit takes a fair bit of finesse and experience from a director or screenwriter. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "Review: ‘The Third Wife’ is a story told with deft, lush strokes," 27 June 2019 To bring fresh life to the conceit takes a fair bit of finesse and experience from a director or screenwriter. Hau Chu, Twin Cities, "‘The Third Wife,’ a movie set in 19th-century Vietnam, has a lot to say about today," 27 June 2019 Winkenbach’s original golden idea has been taken to numerous extremes, but the initial conceit—drafting players to your own team and earning points for their on-field performance—remains at the heart of the fantasy game. The Si Staff, SI.com, "100 Figures Who Shaped the NFL’s First Century," 28 Aug. 2019 The book's central conceit—an island where concepts intermittently disappear from society's collective understanding—has proved irresistible to American critics, who hail the novel's relevance in a time of pervasive doublespeak and gaslighting. Wired, "The Memory Police," 20 Aug. 2019 The conceit that the routine practice of claiming Native-ness is largely harmless and that most people bar themselves from spreading such falsities is an indefensible lie. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "Native American Imposters Keep Corrupting the “Redskins” Debate," 13 Aug. 2019 The plot conceit here, about her work for a globetrotting villain, might be sophisticated and nuanced. Peter Opaskar, Ars Technica, "What I learned about cars watching all 8 Fast & Furious movies in 4 days," 2 Aug. 2019

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 1b(1)

Verb

1557, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for conceit

Noun and Verb

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

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Statistics for conceit

Last Updated

15 Nov 2019

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
How to pronounce conceit (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of conceit

: too much pride in your own worth or goodness
literary : an idea that shows imagination

conceit

noun
con·​ceit | \ kən-ˈsēt How to pronounce conceit (audio) \

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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