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 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 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

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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Statistics for conceit

Last Updated

8 Mar 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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