conceive

verb

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

transitive verb

1
a
: to become pregnant with (young)
conceive a child
b
: to cause to begin : originate
a project conceived by the company's founder
2
a
: 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 emptiness
It is hard to conceive of all the work that must have been involved in starting off from scratch.Harold Fromm
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 The campaign is well conceived as is the partnership with Hart. Charles Taylor, Forbes, 20 Feb. 2024 Mendes, the director of American Beauty, Skyfall, and 1917, conceived the project and will direct the four movies, one from each band member’s point of view; Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and the families of John Lennon and George Harrison authorized the films. Jazz Monroe, Pitchfork, 20 Feb. 2024 Knitted balaclavas feature in the show, so Souleiman conceived the hair to look as if it had been styled–and made more compact–by the headwear. Hannah Coates, Vogue, 17 Feb. 2024 It was originally conceived as a series to be streamed on Disney+, but the company changed tack and decided to release the sequel as a feature in theaters. Meg James, Los Angeles Times, 13 Feb. 2024 In fact, that first visit may occur before a child is even conceived. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, 12 Feb. 2024 When originally conceived, Stevens Creek Promenade was expected to feature 233,000 to 300,000 square feet of office space, up to 582 apartment units and as much as 22,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space on the ground floor. George Avalos, The Mercury News, 8 Feb. 2024 Evangeline was conceived using in vitro fertilization (IVF), harvesting Carlile’s eggs for Shepherd to carry due to the singer’s strenuous work and touring schedule. Francesca Gariano, Peoplemag, 6 Feb. 2024 But if a waiter or chef explains to you that a dish is conceived with a specific preparation in mind, such as duck breast cooked on the rarer side or a salad dressed ahead rather than served with dressing on the side, there’s often a good reason. Li Goldstein, Bon Appétit, 6 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'conceive.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near conceive

Cite this Entry

“Conceive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/conceive. Accessed 26 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

conceive

verb
con·​ceive kən-ˈsēv How to pronounce conceive (audio)
conceived; conceiving
1
: to become pregnant or pregnant with
conceive a child
2
a
: to take into the mind
conceived a liking for the singer
b
: to form an idea of : imagine
conceive a new design
3
: to have as an opinion : think
conceived of her as a genius
conceivable
-ˈsē-və-bəl
adjective
conceivably
-blē
adverb
conceiver noun

Medical Definition

conceive

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

transitive verb

: to become pregnant with (young)

intransitive verb

: to become pregnant

More from Merriam-Webster on conceive

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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