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conceit

[kuh n-seet] /kənˈsit/
noun
1.
an excessively favorable opinion of one's own ability, importance, wit, etc.
2.
something that is conceived in the mind; a thought; idea:
He jotted down the conceits of his idle hours.
3.
imagination; fancy.
4.
a fancy; whim; fanciful notion.
5.
an elaborate, fanciful metaphor, especially of a strained or far-fetched nature.
6.
the use of such metaphors as a literary characteristic, especially in poetry.
7.
a fancy, purely decorative article.
8.
British Dialect.
  1. favorable opinion; esteem.
  2. personal opinion or estimation.
9.
Obsolete. the faculty of conceiving; apprehension.
verb (used with object)
10.
to flatter (especially oneself).
11.
British Dialect. to take a fancy to; have a good opinion of.
12.
Obsolete.
  1. to imagine.
  2. to conceive; apprehend.
Idioms
13.
out of conceit with, displeased or dissatisfied with.
Origin of conceit
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English conceyte, conceipt, derivative of conceive by analogy with deceive, deceit and receive, receipt; compare Anglo-French conceite; see concept
Synonyms
1. self-esteem, vanity, egotism, complacency. See pride.
Antonyms
1. humility.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for conceit
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Pride and conceit constitute what stands for courage in most men.

    West Wind Drift George Barr McCutcheon
  • Too bad, though—you certainly need a wife to take the conceit out of you.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • By treachery to your comrades, I suppose, said Hansford, disgusted with the conceit and self-complacency of the man.

  • But I don't know; you've kind o' got me out o' conceit with it.

    The Village Watch-Tower (AKA Kate Douglas Riggs) Kate Douglas Wiggin
  • The motive to this was a conceit that potable gold could be no other than the universal medicine: and why gold?

British Dictionary definitions for conceit

conceit

/kənˈsiːt/
noun
1.
a high, often exaggerated, opinion of oneself or one's accomplishments; vanity
2.
(literary) an elaborate image or far-fetched comparison, esp as used by the English Metaphysical poets
3.
(archaic)
  1. a witty expression
  2. fancy; imagination
  3. an idea
4.
(obsolete) a small ornament
verb (transitive)
5.
(Northern English, dialect) to like or be able to bear (something, such as food or drink)
6.
(obsolete) to think or imagine
Word Origin
C14: from conceive
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
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Word Origin and History for conceit
n.

late 14c., "something formed in the mind, thought, notion," from conceiven (see conceive) based on analogy of deceit and receipt. Sense evolved from "something formed in the mind," to "fanciful or witty notion" (1510s), to "vanity" (c.1600) through shortening of self-conceit (1580s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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