[pree-kuh n-sep-shuh n]


a conception or opinion formed beforehand.

Origin of preconception

First recorded in 1615–25; pre- + conception
Related formspre·con·cep·tion·al, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for preconceptions

Contemporary Examples of preconceptions

Historical Examples of preconceptions

  • For how else could he have interpreted the scene he beheld, his preconceptions being what they were?


    Rafael Sabatini

  • But he says enough to show that he was misled chiefly by his own preconceptions.

  • All this fitted perfectly the captain's preconceptions of Cassylia.


    Harry Harrison

  • It was contrary to all his preconceptions of her domestic, home-loving disposition.

    Southern Hearts

    Florence Hull Winterburn

  • Not one iota had I seen that corresponded with my preconceptions.

British Dictionary definitions for preconceptions



an idea or opinion formed beforehand
a bias; prejudice
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 preconceptions



1620s, from pre- + conception. Related: Preconceptions.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper