con·​cep·​tu·​al | \kən-ˈsep-chə-wəl, -chü-əl, kän-, -chəl, -shwəl\

Definition of conceptual 

: of, relating to, or consisting of concepts conceptual thinking the project's conceptual and technical hurdles conceptual designs

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Other Words from conceptual

conceptuality \ kən-​ˌsep-​chə-​ˈwa-​lə-​tē , -​shə-​ ; -​chü-​ˈa-​, -​shü-​ \ noun
conceptually adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for conceptual


abstract, ideal, ideational, metaphysical, notional, theoretical (also theoretic)


concrete, nonabstract

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Examples of conceptual in a Sentence

The plans have both conceptual and practical difficulties. conceptual thinking is often the most demanding kind of mental activity

Recent Examples on the Web

Many of these techniques have yet to be tested beyond the conceptual or lab stage, and questions remain about the scalability, costs and ecological consequences of manipulating reef systems. Rebecca Albright, Scientific American, "Scientists Are Taking Extreme Steps to Help Corals Survive," 1 Jan. 2018 At least, that’s the plan according to a recent statement from Les Claypool, this unabashedly quirky punk-funk-meets-prog-metal band’s bassist, singer and conceptual mastermind. George Varga,, "Primus and Mastodon to deliver doubly thunderous concert at SDSU," 1 July 2018 And near the end, the conceptual depictions of mobility in the future are more suitable for corporate presentations than prime-time programs. Julie Hinds, Detroit Free Press, "'Detroit: Comeback City' documentary is personal, and that's a good thing," 1 July 2018 But an act of cancellation is still mostly conceptual or socially performative. Jonah Engel Bromwich, New York Times, "Everyone Is Canceled," 28 June 2018 The first record was very much conceptual in its emotion. Mackenzie Cummings-grady, Billboard, "Jungle on Reinventing Themselves With Upcoming Sophomore Album: 'We're Showing Different Sides to the Band'," 13 June 2018 The plans presented are just conceptual, noted Melinda Mueller, the district's director of public information and engagement. Alec Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Kettle Moraine Schools need more than $25 million worth of improvements at outdoor facilities," 9 May 2018 The common bond between the two — a certain looseness in the notation — is more conceptual than sonic, so the interlocking strains don’t always have a lot to say to each other in performance. Joshua Kosman,, "CD review: ‘Codex’ by Bruce Brubaker," 11 July 2018 Two are conceptual works by artistic collectives, each taking up two cells. Edith Newhall,, "New art to see in Philly this month: at Eastern State Pen, the Art Museum … and on napkins," 9 May 2018

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

1825, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for conceptual

Medieval Latin conceptualis of thought, from Late Latin conceptus act of conceiving, thought, from Latin concipere — see concept entry 1

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Last Updated

6 Nov 2018

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The first known use of conceptual was in 1825

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English Language Learners Definition of conceptual

: based on or relating to ideas or concepts


con·​cep·​tu·​al | \kən-ˈsep-chə(-wə)l, kän-, -ˈsepsh-wəl \

Medical Definition of conceptual 

: of, relating to, or consisting of concepts

Other Words from conceptual

conceptually adverb

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