View synonyms for conception


[ kuhn-sep-shuhn ]


  1. the act of conceiving; the state of being conceived.
  2. fertilization; inception of pregnancy.
  3. She has some odd conceptions about life.

  4. something that is conceived:

    That machine is the conception of a genius.

  5. origination; beginning:

    The organization has been beset by problems from its conception.

  6. a sketch of something not actually existing:

    an artist's conception of ancient Athens.

  7. the act or power of forming notions, ideas, or concepts.


/ kənˈsɛpʃən /


  1. something conceived; notion, idea, design, or plan
  2. the description under which someone considers something

    her conception of freedom is wrong

  3. the fertilization of an ovum by a sperm in the Fallopian tube followed by implantation in the womb
  4. origin or beginning

    from its conception the plan was a failure

  5. the act or power of forming notions; invention
“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


/ kən-sĕpshən /

  1. The formation of a zygote resulting from the union of a sperm and egg cell; fertilization.


  1. Fertilization ; the union of the sperm and ovum to form a zygote . ( See reproductive systems .)

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Derived Forms

  • conˈceptional, adjective
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Other Words From

  • con·ception·al adjective
  • con·ceptive adjective
  • postcon·ception adjective
  • recon·ception noun
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Word History and Origins

Origin of conception1

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English concepcion from Latin conceptiōn- (stem of conceptiō ), equivalent to Latin concept- ( concept ) + -iōn- -ion
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Word History and Origins

Origin of conception1

C13: from Latin conceptiō, from concipere to conceive
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Example Sentences

Campaigns have also been forced to reconsider their conception of Pennsylvania’s political geography.

Compare our conception of werewolves, vampires, and zombies.

Two Conceptions of RealityThese challenges are rooted in a conception of reality which we have gotten so used to that we’re not even aware that there’s an alternative.

There’s another conception of reality which I call the “container view.”

Another incredible conception from da Vinci, the Armored Car is surely the forerunner to the contemporary military tanks.

What it endangers is a narrow conception of Russian power, understood through the eyes of its dictatorial leader.

Spar has a new book titled The Baby Business: How Money, Science and Politics Drive the Commerce of Conception.

He completely disrupts not only the conception of architecture—but also the fabrication, the mise en oeuvre of architecture.

In fact, the airplane and the movie were more or less simultaneous in conception (the movie opened in 1968).

North Dakota has a less subtle constitutional amendment on the ballot stating that life begins at conception.

Adequate conception of the extent, the variety, the excellence of the works of Art here heaped together is impossible.

The conception of the relation of this institution with them as co-operative makes headway slowly.

The myth of "Boreas and Orithyia," though faulty perhaps in technique, is good in conception and arrangement.

From that hour dated a new and sterner conception of the task that lay before him and every other Briton in the country.

In fact, he says, with great candour and courage, that the early Bible conception of God is one which we cannot now accept.


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When To Use

What are other ways to say conception?

A conception is a notion or idea that seems complete, individual, or somewhat intricate. Do you know when to use conception, thought, idea, and notion? Learn more on




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