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[pree-kuh n-sep-shuh n] /ˌpri kənˈsɛp ʃən/
a conception or opinion formed beforehand.
Origin of preconception
First recorded in 1615-25; pre- + conception
Related forms
preconceptional, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for preconception
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Already some notion of preconception has possessed the observer.

    The Book of the National Parks Robert Sterling Yard
  • That is, they approach the Bible without any preconception whatsoever.

  • It was his first vision of anything corresponding to his preconception of Italy.

  • He who experiments must, while doing so, divest himself of every preconception.

    The Montessori Method Maria Montessori
  • He was not in pursuit of money by truckling to current preconception or prejudice.

  • He comes to his art without prejudice or preconception of any kind, it appears.

    Musical Portraits Paul Rosenfeld
  • Much the same may be said about the preconception of engineering results in several other ancient works.

    De Re Metallica Georgius Agricola
  • One doesn't like to see a pair of eyes measuring us against a preconception quelconque.

    Sandra Belloni, Complete George Meredith
  • On the whole, though against her preconception, Laura thought him an honest lover, and not the player of a double game.

    Vittoria, Complete George Meredith
British Dictionary definitions for preconception


an idea or opinion formed beforehand
a bias; prejudice
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for preconception

1620s, from pre- + conception. Related: Preconceptions.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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