concept

1 of 2

noun

con·​cept ˈkän-ˌsept How to pronounce concept (audio)
1
: something conceived in the mind : thought, notion
2
: an abstract or generic idea generalized from particular instances
the basic concepts of psychology
the concept of gravity

concept

2 of 2

adjective

1
: organized around a main idea or theme
a concept album
2
: created to illustrate a concept
a concept car
Choose the Right Synonym for concept

idea, concept, conception, thought, notion, impression 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

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

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

thought is likely to suggest the result of reflecting, reasoning, or meditating rather than of imagining.

commit your thoughts to paper

notion suggests an idea not much resolved by analysis or reflection and may suggest the capricious or accidental.

you have the oddest notions

impression applies to an idea or notion resulting immediately from some stimulation of the senses.

the first impression is of soaring height

Example Sentences

Noun She is familiar with basic concepts of psychology. a concept borrowed from computer programming
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Community organizing is not a new concept for Edmonds, an 88-year-old Ocean Beach resident from the Kiowa and Caddo tribes. San Diego Union-Tribune, 15 Nov. 2022 The automaker’s Norwegian commercial division has just unveiled a motorized office chair concept. Bryan Hood, Robb Report, 14 Nov. 2022 Miserable but not miserable enough Illinois: Regression to the mean is a cruel but inevitable concept for a team that played far above its head for the first couple months of the season. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, 13 Nov. 2022 There is a concept called replacement-level fertility, which says that for the population to replace itself successfully, each woman needs to have, on average, 2.1 children to replace a woman and her partner - a fertility rate last seen in 2007. Zachary Smith, cleveland, 13 Nov. 2022 Though this Flex Mussels is brand-new, there were two others, one of which shut down during the pandemic—the other one is about to transform into a new culinary concept. Jessica Cherner, House Beautiful, 11 Nov. 2022 That is a concept in which buyers and sellers would trade Treasury securities directly with each other rather than rely on big banks. Andrew Ackerman, WSJ, 10 Nov. 2022 While the video may be a simple concept, the message of the song goes deep and helped define the 2010s music scene. Sierra Porter, Billboard, 10 Nov. 2022 Democratic worker control – where companies are owned and controlled by the workers themselves – is not a new concept. Alec Stubbs, The Conversation, 10 Nov. 2022
Adjective
The project is planned to go before the planning commission on Oct. 18 for a pre-concept review. Alex Groth, Journal Sentinel, 4 Oct. 2022 The approach is no different for the team behind Oceanside’s just-opened The Lab Collaborative (TLC), a multi-concept food and drink destination that opened Jan. 5 in downtown Oceanside. San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 Mar. 2022 From March 25-27, Frame, a multi-concept restaurant in Hazel Park, will host Slavic Solidarity, an immersive dinner experience, featuring five courses of Ukrainian staples. Lyndsay C. Green, Detroit Free Press, 2 Mar. 2022 The Supper Club is the final piece of the 400-seat, three-story, multi-concept Twelve Thirty Club to open. Maya Kachroo-levine, Travel + Leisure, 25 Sep. 2021 The vast, multi-concept Italian dining destination closed in 2018, one of many restaurants that had tried and failed in the neighborhood over the past decade. San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 June 2021 This pre-concept-of-war GEM has somehow STILL never been lived in! Isabella Giovannini, The New Yorker, 2 Mar. 2021 Concept art showed a mystical, face-having tree looming over a parking lot full of ordinary looking sedans. Joanna Robinson, HWD, 14 July 2017 Concept art showed a mystical, face-having tree looming over a parking lot full of ordinary looking sedans. Joanna Robinson, vanityfair.com, 14 July 2017 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'concept.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Noun and Adjective

Latin conceptum, neuter of conceptus, past participle of concipere to conceive — more at conceive

First Known Use

Noun

1556, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1896, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of concept was in 1556

Dictionary Entries Near concept

Cite this Entry

“Concept.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/concept. Accessed 28 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

concept

noun

con·​cept
ˈkän-ˌsept
1
: something conceived in the mind : thought, notion
2
: a general idea
arrived at the concept of a flower by studying many different kinds of flowers
conceptual
kən-ˈsep-chə(-wə)l
-ˈsepsh-wəl
adjective

Medical Definition

concept

noun

con·​cept ˈkän-ˌsept How to pronounce concept (audio)
1
: something conceived in the mind
2
: an abstract or generic idea generalized from particular instances

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