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[pree-kuh n-seev]
See more synonyms for preconceive on Thesaurus.com
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 preconceived

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • His preconceived plan of the suspected man's operations was working out.


    W. A. Fraser

  • Yet she was very quick with that answer; so quick that he might have suspected it to be preconceived.

    The Sea-Hawk

    Raphael Sabatini

  • It was clear that this was a preconceived, concerted 229 movement.

    The Web of the Golden Spider

    Frederick Orin Bartlett

  • You understand that nothing is more disturbing than the upsetting of a preconceived idea.


    Joseph Conrad

  • Hence, we must discard all preconceived opinions which conflict with facts.

    Masters of Space

    Edward Elmer Smith

British Dictionary definitions for preconceived


  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 preconceived



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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper