con·​cep·​tu·​al | \ kən-ˈsep-chə-wəl How to pronounce conceptual (audio) , -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 How to pronounce conceptuality (audio) , -​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

Some pieces are conceptual like Kate Kosek's Kewl Look, which features UV pigment on Plexiglass and has a Xerox photocopier aesthetic. Darryl Ratcliff, Dallas News, "At a West Dallas art gallery, T-shirts are adorned, bedazzled, deconstructed and subverted," 22 July 2019 The mélange of post-minimal, conceptual, and outsider art, punctuated with happenings and performances, pointedly insulted good and even bad taste and resulted in addled discourse. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, "Harald Szeemann’s Revolutionary Curating," 15 July 2019 The Pre-Safe child seat is still just a concept, but one that can communicate in real time with an (also conceptual) Mercedes-Benz vehicle. Alexander Stoklosa, Car and Driver, "Mercedes-Benz's Car Seat Prototype Will Make Children Safer," 21 May 2019 The three-story gallery features amazing conceptual and handcrafted artistry from African designers. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Inside Nigeria Creative Week With Stylist Ade Samuel," 15 May 2019 But Eliasson does not see himself as a conceptual artist or an interventionist. Sam Whiting,, "Famed Danish artist premieres huge outdoor work at Chase Center," 24 Aug. 2019 Gaga certainly wasn’t the first to turn a VMAs performance into an event -- Madonna had wowed audiences with extravagant sets and conceptual performances across multiple decades, as had artists like Britney Spears, Michael Jackson and Eminem. Stephen Daw, Billboard, "Don't Forget: Lady Gaga's '09 VMAs Performance Should Have Been the Night's Breakout Moment," 21 Aug. 2019 Landscape architect Christine Wilson of Copley Wolff Design Group created a conceptual design for the pocket park using community input, including through a site visit and a visioning workshop with nearby residents in the fall of 2018. John Laidler,, "New neighborhood park coming to Framingham," 7 Aug. 2019 Ten years later, their conceptual drawings became reality. Gianluca Mezzofiore, CNN, "Artists installed seesaws at the border so kids in the US and Mexico could play together," 30 July 2019

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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Statistics for conceptual

Last Updated

11 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for conceptual

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 How to pronounce conceptual (audio) \

Medical Definition of conceptual

: of, relating to, or consisting of concepts

Other Words from conceptual

conceptually adverb

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Comments on conceptual

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


to spread over or through

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