[ pree-kuhn-seev ]
/ 藢pri k蓹n藞siv /
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See synonyms for: preconceived on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object), pre路con路ceived, pre路con路ceiv路ing.
to form a conception or opinion of beforehand, as before seeing evidence or as a result of previously held prejudice.
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Origin of preconceive

First recorded in 1570鈥80; pre- + conceive
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 漏 Random House, Inc. 2022


What does preconceive mean?

Preconceive means to form an opinion or idea about something before you know anything factual or see any results, as in聽 I don鈥檛 preconceive ideas about foods I haven鈥檛 tried yet.

Preconceive is almost always used in the past tense, as in Watching the film confirmed Raul鈥檚 preconceived belief that he would hate it.

Preconceive often implies that the reason a person formed an opinion ahead of time is because they have biases or prejudices that are influencing them. For example, you might be biased against vegetables because you haven鈥檛 liked any of the ones you鈥檝e tried so far. That bias might lead you to have a preconceived idea that you won鈥檛 like a vegetable you鈥檝e never eaten before. But you鈥檒l only know if you like it by trying it.

Preconceive is commonly used in the phrase preconceived notions, as in The man鈥檚 preconceived notions about rap music prevented him from giving it a fair chance.

Where does preconceive come from?

The first records of the term preconceive come from around 1570. It combines the prefix pre, meaning 鈥渂efore,鈥 and the word conceive, meaning 鈥渢o form鈥 or 鈥渢o believe.鈥 When someone preconceives something, they form an opinion about it before they have even come into contact with it.

Preconceive is nearly always used in a negative context. Even when talking about themselves, people use preconceive to discuss a situation in which their biases or assumptions affect how they view something. It鈥檚 always better to judge things based on facts or experiences rather than assumptions. You never know鈥攜ou might find your new favorite thing by trying it!

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What are some synonyms for preconceive?

What are some words that share a root or word element with preconceive?

What are some words that often get used in discussing preconceive?

How is preconceive used in real life?

People use preconceive to mean to form an opinion or idea ahead of time.



Try using preconceive!

Is the following sentence a correct use of preconceive?

You shouldn鈥檛 preconceive ideas about a person before you meet them.

How to use preconceive in a sentence

  • Their use cases are far more versatile than the initial assumptions and preconceived notions related to value, with expected compensation ranges to match that versatility based on audience sizes and channel selection.

  • It was impossible for Harold to preconceive the effect this had on Esther.

  • How little did I preconceive the conduct which, in an exigence like this, I should be prone to adopt.

    Wieland; or The Transformation|Charles Brockden Brown

British Dictionary definitions for preconceive

/ (藢pri藧k蓹n藞si藧v) /

(tr) to form an idea of beforehand; conceive of ahead in time
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition 漏 William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 漏 HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012