Definition of conception in English:

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Pronunciation: /kənˈsɛpʃ(ə)n/


[mass noun]
1The action of conceiving a child or of one being conceived: an unfertilized egg before conception [count noun]: 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
rare fecundation
2The 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, formation, formulation, invention;
beginning, origin
2.1 [count noun] The 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.
2.2 [count noun] An abstract idea; a concept: 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, conceptualization, understanding, abstraction;
theory, hypothesis, postulation;
perception, image, impression, picture
2.3 [count noun] A 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, proposition, design, outline;
intention, aim, idea
2.4Ability to imagine; understanding: the administration had no conception of women’s problems
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, ability to understand, ability to imagine, comprehension, appreciation, knowledge, grasp, apprehension;
idea, inkling
informal clue about



Pronunciation: /kənˈsɛpʃ(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

Line breaks: con|cep¦tion

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