• synonyms


[kuh n-sep-shuh n]
See more synonyms for conception on Thesaurus.com
  1. the act of conceiving; the state of being conceived.
  2. fertilization; inception of pregnancy.
  3. a notion; idea; concept: 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 design; plan.
  7. a sketch of something not actually existing: an artist's conception of ancient Athens.
  8. the act or power of forming notions, ideas, or concepts.
Show More

Origin of conception

1300–50; Middle English concepcion < Latin conceptiōn- (stem of conceptiō), equivalent to Latin concept- (see concept) + -iōn- -ion
Related formscon·cep·tion·al, adjectivecon·cep·tive, adjectivepost·con·cep·tion, adjectivere·con·cep·tion, noun
Can be confusedconcept conception inception


See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
3. See idea.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for conceptive

Historical Examples

  • They speak to the perceptive faculties only: truth to the conceptive.

    Modern Painters Volume I (of V)

    John Ruskin

  • Intermediary sensation, demanded by conceptive thoughts, iv.

  • It is perceptive because sentient, it is conceptive because perceptive.

  • The idea is everything to them, by virtue of their conceptive faculty.

    Household Education

    Harriet Martineau

  • I have spoken of only the early stage of the activity of the conceptive faculties.

    Household Education

    Harriet Martineau

British Dictionary definitions for conceptive


  1. something conceived; notion, idea, design, or plan
  2. the description under which someone considers somethingher 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 beginningfrom its conception the plan was a failure
  5. the act or power of forming notions; invention
Show More
Derived Formsconceptional or conceptive, adjective

Word Origin

C13: from Latin conceptiō, from concipere to conceive
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

Word Origin and History for conceptive


1630s, from Latin conceptivus, from conceptus, past participle of concipere (see conceive).

Show More



early 14c., "act of conceiving," from Old French concepcion (Modern French conception) "conception, grasp, comprehension," from Latin conceptionem (nominative conceptio) "a comprehending, conception," noun of action from stem of concipere (see conceive). Originally in the womb sense (also with reference to Conception Day in the Church calendar); mental sense "process of forming concepts" is late 14c. Meaning "that which is conceived in the mind" is from 1520s; "general notion" is from 1785.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

conceptive in Medicine


  1. The act of forming a general idea or notion.
  2. The formation of a viable zygote by the union of a spermatozoon and an ovum; fertilization.
  3. concept

conceptive in Science



conceptive in Culture


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

Show More
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.