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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

My conceptions of masculinity and adulthood were out of whack with my perception of myself. Aram Mrjoian, Longreads, "Bearing the Weight of My Grandfathers’ Old Clothes," 15 June 2019 Much thought has been devoted through the whole modern period to diminishing our conception of ourselves as human beings. Marilynne Robinson, Harper's magazine, "Is Poverty Necessary?," 10 June 2019 His passion for the Ford Pinto began at his conception, which took place in a Pinto. David Beard, Car and Driver, "David Beard," 21 May 2019 As if this wasn't enough exciting news, Amazon is celebrating its storefront's conception by giving away two VIP passes to the second weekend of Coachella, as well as a casual $3,000 for travel and accommodations. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "Amazon Just Made Shopping for Coachella Way Easier With Its First Festival-Inspired Storefront," 27 Mar. 2019 But the way Gibney presents Holmes's story upended a lot of my conceptions about the woman at the center of it. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "Elizabeth Holmes Is a Tragic Figure," 18 Mar. 2019 And personally, my ideal conception of Americanness is one characterized by that tradition of skepticism toward authority, and aversion to imperialism (and all the pomp and circumstance that goes with it). Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump’s Military Parade Would Not Be ‘Un-American’," 8 Feb. 2018 Of course, there are some good actors in the Republican Party (likely Catholics) who truly believe that life begins at conception. Glamour, "With the Alabama Abortion Ban, Republicans Rule Embryos Are People (but Women Aren’t)," 15 May 2019 Most people have some kind of hazy conception of how the stock market works. Bloomberg.com, "How The Bond Market Changed in Decades on Wall Street," 27 July 2017

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about conception

Statistics for conception

Last Updated

18 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for conception

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on conception

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to take the place or position of

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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!