idea

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Synonym Chooser

How does the noun idea contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of idea are conception, concept, impression, notion, and thought. While all these words mean "what exists in the mind as a representation (as of something comprehended) or as a formulation (as of a plan)," idea may apply to a mental image or formulation of something seen or known or imagined, to a pure abstraction, or to something assumed or vaguely sensed.

innovative ideas
my idea of paradise

When can concept be used instead of idea?

While the synonyms concept and idea are close in meaning, concept may apply to the idea formed by consideration of instances of a species or genus or, more broadly, to any idea of what a thing ought to be.

a society with no concept of private property

How are the words conception and concept related as synonyms of idea?

Conception is often interchangeable with concept; it may stress the process of imagining or formulating rather than the result.

our changing conception of what constitutes art

When would impression be a good substitute for idea?

The meanings of impression and idea largely overlap; however, impression applies to an idea or notion resulting immediately from some stimulation of the senses.

the first impression is of soaring height

Where would notion be a reasonable alternative to idea?

The synonyms notion and idea are sometimes interchangeable, but notion suggests an idea not much resolved by analysis or reflection and may suggest the capricious or accidental.

you have the oddest notions

When is it sensible to use thought instead of idea?

The words thought and idea can be used in similar contexts, but thought is likely to suggest the result of reflecting, reasoning, or meditating rather than of imagining.

commit your thoughts to paper

Thesaurus Entries Near idea

Cite this Entry

“Idea.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/idea. Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

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