mis·​con·​cep·​tion | \ˌmis-kən-ˈsep-shən \
plural misconceptions

Definition of misconception 

: a wrong or inaccurate idea or conception a common/popular misconception There's this misconception that you get famous and everything is perfect.— Chris Daughtry The new name, along with more stringent criteria for diagnosing the disorder, represents an attempt to clear up misconceptions about the disorder and to have it taken more seriously by psychiatrists as well as the courts.— Janny Scott Many gardeners are under the misconception [=have the mistaken idea] that bamboos grow only in mild climates.— Nan Sterman … artists, writers, and musicians who labor under the misconception that it's possible to come up with something new under the sun …— Simon Reynolds

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Examples of misconception in a Sentence

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There are still misconceptions that addiction requires some sort of physical component — for example, physical dependence that causes withdrawal — or that physical dependence is conclusive proof of addiction. German Lopez, Vox, "Video game addiction is real, rare, and poorly understood," 6 Dec. 2018 Those misconceptions can change by having people not only learn the real history behind Thanksgiving, but also the history of the systematic oppression of Native Americans and Alaska Natives in the United States. Maka Monture, Teen Vogue, "10 Films That Show How the U.S. Has Mistreated Native Americans and Alaska Natives," 22 Nov. 2018 In a new format for YouTube, a team of correspondents will ask their online audience to weigh in on what makes them curious or confused; the team will then seek to find the answers or debunk the misconceptions. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: Taylor Swift caused a massive spike in voter registration with an Instagram post," 10 Oct. 2018 As the company sees it, though, much of this problem comes down to misconception. Patricia Hernandez, The Verge, "YouTube is failing its creators," 21 Sep. 2018 One misconception Dianne Grossman says too many adults have: that only certain types of children are targets — i.e., ones who are outwardly different than what society deems normal. Jessica Press, Redbook, "Women Need to Know They Don't Have to Take Bullying in the Workplace," 19 Sep. 2018 In her cover interview for the October 2018 issue of Vogue, the pop star opened up further about her health and about the misconceptions that inevitably follow diagnoses of fibromyalgia and other chronic illnesses. Andrea Park, Allure, "Lady Gaga Opens Up in Vogue Interview About Struggling With Fibromyalgia and PTSD," 12 Sep. 2018 There’s a misconception that content reviewers work in dark basements, lit only by the glow of their computer screens. Casey Newton, The Verge, "How conspiracy sites keep outsmarting big tech companies," 28 July 2018 There’s a common misconception about running for office. Brianna Wu, Marie Claire, "I Ran for Congress. I Lost. I'm Persisting. Quitting Is Not an Option In the Trump Era.," 9 Oct. 2018

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

1614, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

10 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for misconception

The first known use of misconception was in 1614

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a nest or breeding place

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