• synonyms


[pree-kuh n-seev]
verb (used with object), pre·con·ceived, pre·con·ceiv·ing.
  1. 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 1570–80; pre- + conceive
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for preconceive

Historical Examples of preconceive

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

    Felix Holt, The Radical

    George Eliot

  • 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


  1. (tr) to form an idea of beforehand; conceive of ahead in time
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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 preconceive


1570s, from pre- + conceive. Related: Preconceived; preconceiving.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper