Definition of conception in English:

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Pronunciation: /kənˈsepSH(ə)n/


1The action of conceiving a child or of a child being conceived: an unfertilized egg before conception a rise in premarital conceptions
More example sentences
  • Defective mitochondria can slow down or prevent the growth of a fertilised egg, preventing conception.
  • After all, at conception, the fertilized egg has all the information necessary to code for your physical potential.
  • No one even knew about conception until recently.
inception of pregnancy, conceiving, fertilization, impregnation, insemination
1.1The forming or devising of a plan or idea: the time between a product’s conception and its launch
More example sentences
  • Still, this was no pet project for Lauder, whose role encompassed everything from idea conception to product development to marketing.
  • He said: ‘The idea was in conception before September 11 and was not a reaction to it.’
  • But that's the way with novelty productions: What seems like a brilliant idea in conception often proves to have very stubby legs in the real world.
inception, genesis, origination, creation, invention;
beginning, origin
2The way in which something is perceived or regarded: our conception of how language relates to reality
More example sentences
  • As I said I think at the beginning, we are an unhealthy society in regard to our conceptions of aging.
  • Nonetheless, each perspective defines hegemony with regard to different conceptions of agency.
  • Instead, feminist conceptions of objectivity are procedural.
2.1A general notion; an abstract idea: the conception of a balance of power
More example sentences
  • We may call this an unwarrantable and indeed incomprehensible leap from the abstract intellectual conceptions of mathematics to the solid realities of nature.
  • We know that abstract conceptions such as ‘time’ and ‘flour’ can be hard to grasp for most people.
  • However, these are quite abstract conceptions, taken out of historical and social context.
idea, concept, notion, understanding, abstraction;
theory, hypothesis;
perception, image, impression
2.2A plan or intention: reconstructing Bach’s original conceptions
More example sentences
  • To prize autonomy is to respect the conception of others, to weigh their plans for themselves heavily in deciding what is good for them: but children do not start out with plans or conceptions.
  • In this recent revision, Beck proposed a new conception for the structure and processes involved in psychopathology.
  • Bold in his strategic conceptions, McClellan nevertheless dreaded the actual execution of his plans.
plan, scheme, project, proposal;
intention, aim, idea
2.3Understanding; ability to imagine: he had no conception of politics
More example sentences
  • The common throng had no conception of his problems; all of them thought being a dictator was the end-all.
  • That is why I think this is such an artificial foundation for deriving a rule nowadays from a case that had no conception of the Internet.
  • The idiot potter who made it had no conception of the true power of words and what they can do.
understanding, comprehension, appreciation, grasp, knowledge;
idea, inkling
informal clue



Pronunciation: /kənˈsepSH(ə)n(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • This year boasts a refreshing mix of the figurative and the conceptional.
  • Some workers in India suggest that BCG vaccination can be successfully done in infants at 34 wk post conceptional age or above and at 1800 g weight.
  • One of the most important formal patterns enabling the creation of associational conceptional networks in silent comedy is the sight gag.


Middle English: via Old French from Latin conceptio(n-), from the verb concipere (see conceive).

Words that rhyme with conception

contraception, deception, exception, inception, interception, misconception, perception, reception

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: con·cep·tion

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