- to form (a notion, opinion, purpose, etc.): He conceived the project while he was on vacation.
- to form a notion or idea of; imagine.
- to hold as an opinion; think; believe: I can't conceive that it would be of any use.
- to experience or form (a feeling): to conceive a great love for music.
- to express, as in words.
- to become pregnant with.
- to beget.
- to begin, originate, or found (something) in a particular way (usually used in the passive): a new nation conceived in liberty.
- Archaic. to understand; comprehend.
- to form an idea; think (usually followed by of).
- to become pregnant.
Origin of conceive
SynonymsSee more synonyms for conceive on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for conceive
“The issue was how to conceive what the show was going to look and feel like,” says McKenzie.Ben McKenzie’s Journey From Reluctant Teen Idol on ‘The O.C.’ to Sheriff of ‘Gotham’
November 4, 2014
These military men find it hard to conceive that there might be no real policy at all.Why Does the Free Syrian Army Hate Us?
October 3, 2014
Last year, as I began to conceive a novel, set in shadowy Istanbul, about the sale of a gray market antiquity worth millions.Writing a Novel: Even Making It Up Requires Research
July 16, 2014
Did you conceive of that look yourself, and how did you arrive at that look?Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel on ‘Sex Tape,’ Awkward Sexual Positions, and High-Fiving in Bed
July 14, 2014
She also suggested that the government should help Japanese women who have fertility issues to conceive children.Japanese Parliament to Women: Breed, Don't Lead
Jake Adelstein, Angela Erika Kubo
June 22, 2014
One could conceive of it as possible to turn toward Him—and reach, the objective.The Conquest of Fear
You cannot conceive in your mind how stubborn and brainless they are.The White Company
Arthur Conan Doyle
To the artist, expression is the only mode under which he can conceive life at all.De Profundis
What induced him to attempt this style it is difficult to conceive.Handel
Edward J. Dent
All loveliness, all grace, all majesty are there; but we cannot see, cannot conceive—come away!Green Mansions
W. H. Hudson
- (when intr, foll by of; when tr, often takes a clause as object) to have an idea (of); imagine; think
- (tr; takes a clause as object or an infinitive) to hold as an opinion; believe
- (tr) to develop or form, esp in the mindshe conceived a passion for music
- to become pregnant with (young)
- (tr) rare to express in words
Word Origin and History for conceive
late 13c., conceiven, "take (seed) into the womb, become pregnant," from stem of Old French conceveir (Modern French concevoir), from Latin concipere (past participle conceptus) "to take in and hold; become pregnant," from com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + comb. form of capere "to take," from PIE *kap- "to grasp" (see capable). Meaning "take into the mind" is from mid-14c., a figurative sense also found in the Old French and Latin words. Related: Conceived; conceiving.
- To become pregnant.
- To apprehend mentally; to understand.