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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for preconception
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Now orthodox Christians are sometimes accused of reading their historical evidence in the light of a preconception.

    Lux Mundi Various
  • That is, they approach the Bible without any preconception whatsoever.

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

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

  • What helps in this case to produce the illusion is the preconception that the present man is the witness's old friend.

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

    The Montessori Method Maria Montessori
  • One preconception will bewilder the spectator hopelessly unless he has been warned against it or is naturally free from it.

    The Perfect Wagnerite George Bernard Shaw
  • He comes to his art without prejudice or preconception of any kind, it appears.

    Musical Portraits Paul Rosenfeld
  • These illusions frequently involve the co-operation of some preconception or expectation.

    Illusions James Sully
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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