con·​ceive | \ kən-ˈsēv How to pronounce conceive (audio) \
conceived; conceiving

Definition of conceive

transitive verb

1a : to become pregnant with (young) conceive a child
b : to cause to begin : originate a project conceived by the company's founder
2a : to take into one's mind conceive a prejudice
b : to form a conception of : imagine a badly conceived design cleverly conceived teleplays
3 : to apprehend by reason or imagination : understand unable to conceive his reasons It is easy enough to conceive the notion that your island is a sort of fortress.— Paul Theroux
4 : to have as an opinion I cannot conceive that he acted alone.

intransitive verb

1 : to become pregnant
2 : to have a conception usually used with of conceives of death as emptinessIt is hard to conceive of all the work that must have been involved in starting off from scratch.— Harold Fromm

Other Words from conceive

conceiver noun

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of conceive in a Sentence

When the writer conceived this role, he had a specific actor in mind to play the part. As conceived by the committee, the bill did not raise taxes. a woman who has been unable to conceive a woman who has been unable to conceive a child
Recent Examples on the Web This all means that those who can’t conceive naturally might have to spend a lot of money for a baby. Kate Willsky, ELLE, 30 Apr. 2022 But the list of forward-looking features on this vehicle includes items that would have been hard to conceive for even the most imaginary folks in 1922. Karl Brauer, Forbes, 20 Apr. 2022 Kelly and her husband had tried to conceive for years without success before trying Dr. Werlin on a recommendation. Akira Olivia Kumamoto, USA TODAY, 1 Apr. 2022 This might sound like bad news to Wanda fans who can’t conceive seeing their favorite Avengers turn to the dark side. Chris Smith, BGR, 10 Mar. 2022 This whole process has already taken well over a year, after two years of trying to conceive. Vicky Spratt,, 4 Apr. 2022 Men with diabetes are advised to discuss treatment options with their doctor prior to trying to conceive a child. Stephanie Wenger,, 29 Mar. 2022 Earlier this month, Schumer also told Chelsea Handler on her podcast Dear Chelsea about struggling to conceive after having her first son Gene. Serena Coady, SELF, 28 Mar. 2022 But it’s not terribly helpful to conceive of NFTs as a new form of digital art or ownership or even technology. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, 4 Feb. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of conceive

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

History and Etymology for conceive

Middle English, from Anglo-French conceivre, from Latin concipere to take in, conceive, from com- + capere to take — more at heave entry 1

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Time Traveler for conceive

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

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Last Updated

12 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Conceive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for conceive


con·​ceive | \ kən-ˈsēv How to pronounce conceive (audio) \
conceived; conceiving

Kids Definition of conceive

1 : to form an idea of : imagine She is unable to conceive how it happened.
2 : think sense 1 He was generally conceived of as a genius.


con·​ceive | \ kən-ˈsēv How to pronounce conceive (audio) \
conceived; conceiving

Medical Definition of conceive

transitive verb

: to become pregnant with (young)

intransitive verb

: to become pregnant

More from Merriam-Webster on conceive

Nglish: Translation of conceive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of conceive for Arabic Speakers


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