concept

1 of 2

noun

con·​cept ˈkän-ˌsept How to pronounce concept (audio)
1
: something conceived in the mind : thought, notion
2
: an abstract or generic idea generalized from particular instances
the basic concepts of psychology
the concept of gravity

concept

2 of 2

adjective

1
: organized around a main idea or theme
a concept album
2
: created to illustrate a concept
a concept car
Choose the Right Synonym for concept

idea, concept, conception, thought, notion, impression mean what exists in the mind as a representation (as of something comprehended) or as a formulation (as of a plan).

idea may apply to a mental image or formulation of something seen or known or imagined, to a pure abstraction, or to something assumed or vaguely sensed.

innovative ideas
my idea of paradise

concept may apply to the idea formed by consideration of instances of a species or genus or, more broadly, to any idea of what a thing ought to be.

a society with no concept of private property

conception is often interchangeable with concept; it may stress the process of imagining or formulating rather than the result.

our changing conception of what constitutes art

thought is likely to suggest the result of reflecting, reasoning, or meditating rather than of imagining.

commit your thoughts to paper

notion suggests an idea not much resolved by analysis or reflection and may suggest the capricious or accidental.

you have the oddest notions

impression applies to an idea or notion resulting immediately from some stimulation of the senses.

the first impression is of soaring height

Examples of concept in a Sentence

Noun She is familiar with basic concepts of psychology. a concept borrowed from computer programming
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The restaurant opened in late 2019 at 9980 Linn Station Road as a different concept and turned into Cask Southern Kitchen & Bar amid the coronavirus pandemic. Amanda Hancock, The Courier-Journal, 23 Feb. 2024 In Arizona, the concept of healthy eating has long become increasingly intertwined with local culinary trends. Kyle Russell, The Arizona Republic, 23 Feb. 2024 The concept of identity in today’s modern enterprise has transcended its traditional boundaries, expanding to encompass a dynamic ecosystem of both human and machine entities. Gregory Webb, Forbes, 22 Feb. 2024 The approach is a concept she’s played with before. Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN, 22 Feb. 2024 NBCUniversal, Disney, Fox, Warner Bros. Discovery and TelevisaUnivision also plan to hold individual showcases for advertisers, with Paramount Global opting instead to meet with clients and media buyers in smaller, more bespoke events — a concept that began last year. Brian Steinberg, Variety, 22 Feb. 2024 The concept of falconry may bring to mind a Mongolian warrior watching a hawk soar across the steppe. Michael Charboneau, Los Angeles Times, 22 Feb. 2024 The concept of the thermophotovoltaic (TPV) device has been around for more than 50 years. IEEE Spectrum, 21 Feb. 2024 An upscale rum bar concept with a tapas menu that takes local dishes and gives them a new spin is also expanding to more resorts. Ramsey Qubein, Forbes, 11 Feb. 2024
Adjective
Folk hopes the multi-concept space can operate as a hub for the Paddington community. Chloe Sachdev, Travel + Leisure, 16 Feb. 2023 The project is planned to go before the planning commission on Oct. 18 for a pre-concept review. Alex Groth, Journal Sentinel, 4 Oct. 2022 The approach is no different for the team behind Oceanside’s just-opened The Lab Collaborative (TLC), a multi-concept food and drink destination that opened Jan. 5 in downtown Oceanside. San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 Mar. 2022 From March 25-27, Frame, a multi-concept restaurant in Hazel Park, will host Slavic Solidarity, an immersive dinner experience, featuring five courses of Ukrainian staples. Lyndsay C. Green, Detroit Free Press, 2 Mar. 2022 The Supper Club is the final piece of the 400-seat, three-story, multi-concept Twelve Thirty Club to open. Maya Kachroo-Levine, Travel + Leisure, 25 Sep. 2021 The vast, multi-concept Italian dining destination closed in 2018, one of many restaurants that had tried and failed in the neighborhood over the past decade. San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 June 2021 This pre-concept-of-war GEM has somehow STILL never been lived in! Isabella Giovannini, The New Yorker, 2 Mar. 2021 Concept art showed a mystical, face-having tree looming over a parking lot full of ordinary looking sedans. Joanna Robinson, HWD, 14 July 2017 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'concept.' 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

Noun and Adjective

Latin conceptum, neuter of conceptus, past participle of concipere to conceive — more at conceive

First Known Use

Noun

1556, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1896, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of concept was in 1556

Dictionary Entries Near concept

Cite this Entry

“Concept.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/concept. Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

concept

noun
con·​cept
ˈkän-ˌsept
1
: something conceived in the mind : thought, notion
2
: a general idea
arrived at the concept of a flower by studying many different kinds of flowers
conceptual
kən-ˈsep-chə(-wə)l
-ˈsepsh-wəl
adjective

Medical Definition

concept

noun
con·​cept ˈkän-ˌsept How to pronounce concept (audio)
1
: something conceived in the mind
2
: an abstract or generic idea generalized from particular instances

More from Merriam-Webster on concept

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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