mis·​con·​cep·​tion ˌmis-kən-ˈsep-shən How to pronounce misconception (audio)
plural misconceptions
: 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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Experts and folks who’ve lived in these areas for a while, like Alex Garcia, 30, recognize this common misconception among newcomers. Amelia Arvesen, Women's Health, 17 May 2023 Is there a sort of disconnect, or are there misconceptions about him that somehow impede people’s full understanding of his magnitude as an artist? Brian Hiatt, Rolling Stone, 10 May 2023 There's a common misconception that beach reads always involve sun, sand, and string-bikini-thin plots. Halie Lesavage, harpersbazaar.com, 25 Apr. 2023 Unfortunately, plenty of myths and misconceptions about this staple are often repeated as conventional wisdom. Becky Krystal, Anchorage Daily News, 8 Apr. 2023 Resist the misconception that sustainable living means more work. Heather Souvaine Horn, The New Republic, 31 Mar. 2023 Hilary Gauld hopes that her latest portrait series, which features individuals over the age of 45, will challenge the misconception that people with Down syndrome don't live into old age. Jason Hahn, Peoplemag, 21 Mar. 2023 Black TikTok creators who have mental health expertise have drawn attention to changing the narrative around eating disorders and combatting misconceptions, CNN reported. Byalexa Mikhail, Fortune Well, 5 Mar. 2023 Through it, the company is trying to align itself with the talking points of fat acceptance—eliminating weight stigma and bias and shattering the misconception that obesity is simply a lack of willful control—while at the same time selling a drug that has the goal of making fat people smaller. WIRED, 25 Jan. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'misconception.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1614, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of misconception was in 1614

Dictionary Entries Near misconception

Cite this Entry

“Misconception.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/misconception. Accessed 8 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a wrong or mistaken idea

More from Merriam-Webster on misconception

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