conceive

verb
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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Maybe the point is that democracy doesn’t have to work the way it was conceived in order to be successful. Sean Illing, Vox, "Intellectuals have said democracy is failing for a century. They were wrong.," 20 Dec. 2018 When it was first conceived, a prevailing view in the industry was that auto makers needed global scale to compete. Nick Kostov, WSJ, "Nissan’s Carlos Ghosn Arrested, to Be Ousted as Chairman Amid Financial Misconduct Probe," 19 Nov. 2018 We're pretty sure all of these efforts were conceived of and developed independently in China. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Rocket Report: Scotland’s NIMBY problem, SpaceX test firing, Soyuz mishap," 2 Nov. 2018 Even Senator Jeff Flake, in the end, voted for Kavanaugh, despite the elevator pitch that allegedly convinced him to demand a further FBI instigation, an inquiry that was still born from the moment it was conceived. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "The Week in Washington: “Look At Us!”," 7 Oct. 2018 It was conceived by Rihanna in collaboration with PRODJECT, a creative agency which also helped conceptualize last season's Fenty X Puma presentation, where Rihanna appeared on a set of pink mountains while perched on the backseat of a motorcycle. Jessica Andrews, Teen Vogue, "Rihanna's Savage X Fenty New York Fashion Week Show Celebrated Women," 13 Sep. 2018 Carole, born in 1942, claims that she was conceived on the beach at Cap d’Antibes. James Mcauley, Town & Country, "The Tragic, Fascinating History of Santo Sospir," 13 Aug. 2018 California’s high-speed rail project, initially conceived to connect San Francisco and Sacramento with Los Angeles and San Diego, has been beset with delays and cost increases. Alejandro Lazo, WSJ, "California Trims Its High-Speed Rail Ambitions," 12 Feb. 2019 Tennessee Williams first conceived of the tale as a short story in the early 1940s. Theodore P. Mahne, NOLA.com, "Gritty 'One Arm' finds beauty, redemption in story of mutilated hustler," 26 Mar. 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about conceive

Statistics for conceive

Last Updated

13 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for conceive

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for conceive

conceive

verb

English Language Learners Definition of conceive

: to think of or create (something) in the mind
: to become pregnant

conceive

verb
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.

conceive

verb
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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on conceive

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with conceive

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for conceive

Spanish Central: Translation of conceive

Nglish: Translation of conceive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of conceive for Arabic Speakers

Comments on conceive

What made you want to look up conceive? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to corrupt or become corrupted

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A Green Quiz

  • shamrock
  • What is the best definition of green-eyed monster?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!