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[mis-kuh n-seev]
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verb (used with or without object), mis·con·ceived, mis·con·ceiv·ing.
  1. to conceive or interpret wrongly; misunderstand.
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Origin of misconceive

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400; see origin at mis-1, conceive
Related formsmis·con·ceiv·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for misconceive

Historical Examples

  • I must tell you that you misconceive the situation entirely.

    The Market-Place

    Harold Frederic

  • You cannot misconceive my motives in making this not very agreeable communication.

    The Young Duke

    Benjamin Disraeli

  • I say not this openly, nor unto such as should be likely to misconceive me.

    In Convent Walls

    Emily Sarah Holt

  • Of course we must not misconceive the character of this wrath.

  • It was impossible to misconceive the threat or to exaggerate the danger.

    Tales and Fantasies

    Robert Louis Stevenson

British Dictionary definitions for misconceive


  1. to have the wrong idea; fail to understand
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Derived Formsmisconceiver, noun
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 misconceive


late 14c., "to have a wrong notion of;" see mis- (1) + conceive. Related: Misconceived; misconceiving.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper