con·​cep·​tion | \kən-ˈsep-shən \

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, -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective
conceptive \kən-​ˈsep-​tiv \ 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

Subaru owns this whole vehicle conception, which has carried the company through a record 83 consecutive months of month-over sales increases, with the second-highest owner brand loyalty in the industry after Toyota, according to Dan Neil, WSJ, "2019 Subaru Forester: Do You Want Your Car to Spy on You?," 9 Nov. 2018 That means America’s conception of the internet is changing. Bijan Stephen, The Verge, "Roasting each other for our battery life in screenshots brought the internet together," 13 Aug. 2018 But investigators say engineers were never directly involved in Verrückt's conception or design and that Henry, Schooley and their team completed a prototype within 36 days. Author: Cleve R. Wootson Jr., Anchorage Daily News, "They helped design a record-breaking waterslide – and were arrested after it decapitated a boy," 3 Apr. 2018 Part of this is due to the fact that more couples, like the Obamas, are trying to get pregnant at older ages, when the odds of conception drop. Julia Belluz, Vox, "Why Michelle Obama’s revelation that she had a miscarriage and did IVF matters," 9 Nov. 2018 These values were central to Britain’s conception of itself in 1948 when the Labour Party founded the NHS as part of its New Jerusalem. The Economist, "The three myths of the NHS," 28 June 2018 Under this very broad conception of liberty, there’s no doubt that fair-share fees — the fees that every public-sector union charges every member of a bargaining unit, even those who opt out of the union — is unconstitutional. Cristian Farias, Daily Intelligencer, "Rough Justice for Public Unions," 26 Feb. 2018 But these arguments depend on a faulty conception of free will. Micah Johnson, Scientific American, "How Responsible are Killers with Brain Damage?," 30 Jan. 2018 This is appropriate, because the Lamborghini Aventador Superveloce is a time traveler of sorts, a car that evokes a bygone conception of an exotic: the definitive Lambo. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "I Took a Road Trip in a Supercar," 2 Feb. 2016

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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3 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for conception

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

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More Definitions for conception


con·​cep·​tion | \kən-ˈsep-shən \

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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to make faulty or ineffective

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