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.
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
Examples of conception in a Sentence
He directed the project from conception to production.
the conception of a new device
They have a clear conception of how the process works.
a child's conception of responsibility
They have very different conceptions of the proper role of government.
Recent Examples on the WebAchtung Baby had a difficult birth, though an easy conception.—Andy Greene, Rolling Stone, 30 Sep. 2023 His sperm was discovered to have malformations, like two heads, that made natural conception and several rounds of IUI treatments unsuccessful.—Alex Zaragoza, Los Angeles Times, 19 Sep. 2023 Some new arrivals shrug the feeling off and update their mental conceptions.—David Reamer | Alaska History, Anchorage Daily News, 13 Aug. 2023 But his identity has remained a mystery, his voice seemingly distorted and face obscured in a rare — and dramatic — video shared by the Orioles soon after his conception.—Abigail Gruskin, Baltimore Sun, 12 Sep. 2023 The risk is further increased for those who've had endometriosis, tubal ligations, pelvic infections, and prior pelvic, abdominal, or fallopian tube surgeries, as well as those who had an intrauterine device (IUD) in place at the time of conception.—Rebecca Stewart, Parents, 6 Sep. 2023 In nearly every country, copyright requires an act of authorship—the artwork must reflect someone's original mental conception.—Will Bedingfield, WIRED, 31 Aug. 2023 Connections within the neural network can piece together a general conception of what the face looks like from different angles and with different expressions.—Saugat Bolakhe, Quanta Magazine, 30 Aug. 2023 Their near-simultaneous conception is not an accident, but a sign.—Phillip MacIak, The New Republic, 24 Aug. 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'conception.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Middle English concepcioun, from Anglo-French concepcion, from Latin conception-, conceptio, from concipere — see conceptentry 1