conception

noun
con·​cep·​tion | \ kən-ˈsep-shən How to pronounce conception (audio) \

Definition of conception

1a(1) : the process of becoming pregnant involving fertilization or implantation or both
(2) : embryo, fetus
b : beginning "Joy had the like conception in our eyes … "— William Shakespeare
2a : the capacity, function, or process of forming or understanding ideas or abstractions or their symbols He directed the project from conception to completion.
b : a general idea : concept We get the conception of an animal … by comparing different animals …— John Stuart Mill
c : a complex product of abstract or reflective thinking the philosopher's conception of reality
d : the sum of a person's ideas and beliefs concerning something his conception of the American dream
3 : the originating of something in the mind an artist's conception of how the city would look a hundred years from now

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Other Words from conception

conceptional \ kən-​ˈsep-​shnəl How to pronounce conceptional (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective
conceptive \ kən-​ˈsep-​tiv How to pronounce conceptive (audio) \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for conception

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 conception in a Sentence

He directed the project from conception to production. the conception of a new device They have a clear conception of how the process works. a child's conception of responsibility They have very different conceptions of the proper role of government.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Pope Francis represented a more progressive and modern view of Christianity that accepted and promulgated the Western conception of human rights. Jason Horowitz, New York Times, "A Clash of Worldviews as Pope Francis and Putin Meet Again," 4 July 2019 These are artists whose conception of femininity wasn’t necessarily conceived in relationship or contrast to manhood and masculinity. John Adamian, courant.com, "Female rockers Pat Benatar, Melissa Etheridge and Liz Phair at Foxwoods," 21 June 2019 But this conception of economic life is not really bottom-up. E.j. Dionne Jr., The Mercury News, "Dionne: How Warren is driving the idea of building a moral economy," 17 June 2019 In contrast, the individual conception of affirmative action in college admissions remains alive, if hanging on by a thread. Noah Feldman, The New York Review of Books, "Arguing Affirmative Action," 7 Feb. 2019 If independent Alyse Galvin or Democrat Dimitri Shein wins the Democratic primary, either’s vehicle will pit new technology against the conception of an old-style gas guzzler. Mark Thiessen, The Seattle Times, "AP News Guide: Alaska primary election," 20 Aug. 2018 To have no conception of how other beliefs could be right for someone else is to fail to understand that other people can have an emotional makeup, cultural history and/or set of life experiences that differ from yours, and that’s just . . Carolyn Hax, Washington Post, "Carolyn Hax: He changes jobs as if he were changing socks," 29 July 2019 Our conception of democratic participation and political rights is so different from that of the Framers that the exercise would be futile. Guy-uriel E. Charles, Time, "SCOTUS's Ruling on Gerrymandering Endangers US Democracy," 11 July 2019 This word suggests that her conception of the American legal system was informed by the Guatemalan or Mexican one. Colin Barrett, Harper's magazine, "“Just Keep Going North”," 5 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'conception.' 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 conception

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

History and Etymology for conception

Middle English concepcioun, from Anglo-French concepcion, from Latin conception-, conceptio, from concipere — see concept entry 1

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Statistics for conception

Last Updated

27 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for conception

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

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More Definitions for conception

conception

noun

English Language Learners Definition of conception

: the process of forming an idea
: the process that occurs within a woman's body when she becomes pregnant
: an idea of what something is or should be

conception

noun
con·​cep·​tion | \ kən-ˈsep-shən How to pronounce conception (audio) \

Medical Definition of conception

1a : the process of becoming pregnant involving fertilization or implantation or both
b : embryo, fetus
2a : the capacity, function, or process of forming or understanding ideas or abstractions or their symbols
b : a general idea

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