conceit

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

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 conceit is rather ingenious: to use a graphically inventive style of animation to manufacture a caper involving the theft of famous paintings. Seattle Times Staff, The Seattle Times, "12 movies open April 12 in Seattle; our reviewers weigh in," 12 Apr. 2019 That is turning into a pro-forma conceit, submerged on both sides beneath rising hatreds and retribution agendas. Daniel Henninger, WSJ, "Yes, Shut Down Mueller," 21 Mar. 2018 And judging by the ombré origami dress that Kelsey Lu wore onstage there last year, the dress code is just as progressive as the project’s conceit. Vogue, "Forget Coachella: These Far-Flung Alternatives Are Pushing Festival Style Forward," 9 Mar. 2019 From star signs to aesthetic opposites, no conceit was too out there if Karl was on board. Amy Synnott, Harper's BAZAAR, "Glenda Bailey on Karl Lagerfeld’s “Wicked Sense of Humor” and Enduring Legacy," 19 Feb. 2019 One of the conceits of this production is that Atticus’s children, Scout and Jem (and their friend Dill), are played by adults, who narrate the action as a kind of Greek chorus. Adam Green, Vogue, "Aaron Sorkin’s To Kill a Mockingbird Arrives on Broadway," 12 Nov. 2018 The basic conceit was a collection of pop culture icons, led by Snow White, taking a tour through Hollywood history. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why the 2019 Oscars Don't Have a Host—And the Disaster That Ensued Last Time It Happened," 24 Feb. 2019 Who cares if the housing-swap conceit makes little to no sense? Vogue, "13 Perfect Rom-Coms to Help With Your Holiday Hangover Right Now," 1 Jan. 2019 This creates a kind of flatline with regard to the central conceit. Alex Gilvarry, New York Times, "A Dying Father, His Son and One Last Road Trip," 25 Apr. 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

17 May 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
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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a strong desire or propensity

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