pre·​con·​ceive ˌprē-kən-ˈsēv How to pronounce preconceive (audio)
preconceived; preconceiving; preconceives

transitive verb

: to form (an opinion) prior to actual knowledge or experience
preconceived notions

Examples of preconceive in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web As leaders, preconceived notions can blind us from being truly open to change and innovation. Glenn Taylor, Forbes, 18 Apr. 2023 To overcome these hurdles, incumbents need to recognize and change preconceived notions and ingrained behaviors that are holding them back. François Candelon, Fortune, 7 Apr. 2023 Some family members might absolutely get it from day one, while others might have preconceived ideas about migraine and a person’s ability to just soldier through. Colleen Stinchcombe, SELF, 31 Mar. 2023 In the style of Hong Kong action, each angle is preconceived rather than discovered through the process of editing (as is more common in western action). Vulture, 7 Mar. 2023 At the same time there isn’t the same amount of baggage or preconceived notions about what Vogue should and can be. Elizabeth Paton, New York Times, 2 Mar. 2023 But as LaMendola has learned, rankings and preconceived notions don’t really matter. Dallas News, 2 Mar. 2023 The heavy topic of identity has so many cliches, preconceived ideas of reconciliation and closure. Mark Olsenstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 17 Feb. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'preconceive.' 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

1558, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of preconceive was in 1558

Dictionary Entries Near preconceive

Cite this Entry

“Preconceive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


pre·​con·​ceive ˌprē-kən-ˈsēv How to pronounce preconceive (audio)
: to form (an opinion or idea) beforehand
preconceived notions about foreign lands
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