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 WebUnlike, say, Furby, American Girl appears to have inhered in some essential way within the millennial conception of self.—Lizzie Feidelson, The New Yorker, 17 Nov. 2023 Because that’s the only conception people have of a film with a candidate in it.—Nick Vivarelli, Variety, 13 Nov. 2023 The popular conception of Saturn is virtually inseparable from its majestic rings.—Carlyn Kranking, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 Nov. 2023 There are things that are much larger than us, aspects of mind beyond the conception of the singular self, as the entire discipline of advertising and now algorithmic prediction can testify towards.—TIME, 28 Oct. 2023 If the Industrial Revolution rippled across the globe and human consciousness with new definitions of progress, time, responsibility, and work, the climate crisis is redefining those conceptions.—Stephanie Hanes, The Christian Science Monitor, 27 Oct. 2023 The group may also be trying to shatter any conceptions about its military capabilities, analysts say.—Nadeen Ebrahim, CNN, 9 Oct. 2023 These growths in the uterus can lead to health complications, affect pregnancy and conception, and may require invasive treatments like hysterectomy or surgery.—Melissa Noel, Essence, 3 Nov. 2023 As the historian Kristin Kobes Du Mez has chronicled, twentieth-century white evangelicals developed a conception of Christian masculinity that embraced militarism, pugnacity, and John Wayne.—Charles McCrary, The New Republic, 3 Nov. 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