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[kuh n-seev] /kənˈsiv/
verb (used with object), conceived, conceiving.
to form (a notion, opinion, purpose, etc.):
He conceived the project while he was on vacation.
to form a notion or idea of; imagine.
to hold as an opinion; think; believe:
I can't conceive that it would be of any use.
to experience or form (a feeling):
to conceive a great love for music.
to express, as in words.
to become pregnant with.
to beget.
to begin, originate, or found (something) in a particular way (usually used in the passive):
a new nation conceived in liberty.
Archaic. to understand; comprehend.
verb (used without object), conceived, conceiving.
to form an idea; think (usually followed by of).
to become pregnant.
1250-1300; Middle English < Anglo-French, Old French conceivre < Latin concipere to take fully, take in, equivalent to con- con- + -cipere, combining form of capere to take
Related forms
conceiver, noun
nonconceiving, noun, adjective
reconceive, verb, reconceived, reconceiving.
unconceived, adjective
well-conceived, adjective
2, 8. See imagine. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for conceived
  • But at the time, astronomers conceived of the universe as a large collection of stars fixed forever in the void.
  • Renwick conceived the central portion with three stories, but one of those floors was lost to preconstruction cost cutting.
  • The problem for people who have conceived with donor gametes is that they know it's not true.
  • It is also to recognize that diversity so conceived can conflict with other values.
  • Babies have been conceived and born in the time that inflation has been above target.
  • But the shifts in time and place are cleverly conceived.
  • Basic research has provided access to technologies that were never conceived well in advance of their discoveries.
  • Architecture is usually conceived as the aesthetic design of the structure, while the construction is purely civil engineering.
  • There are three designs, each conceived for a different activity.
  • Our renovation and addition features over a dozen newly conceived areas, from group collaboration zones, to quiet reading rooms.
British Dictionary definitions for conceived


when intr, foll by of; when tr, often takes a clause as object. to have an idea (of); imagine; think
(transitive; takes a clause as object or an infinitive) to hold as an opinion; believe
(transitive) to develop or form, esp in the mind: she conceived a passion for music
to become pregnant with (young)
(transitive) (rare) to express in words
Derived Forms
conceiver, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French conceivre, from Latin concipere to take in, from capere to take
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 conceived



late 13c., conceiven, "take (seed) into the womb, become pregnant," from stem of Old French conceveir (Modern French concevoir), from Latin concipere (past participle conceptus) "to take in and hold; become pregnant," from com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + comb. form of capere "to take," from PIE *kap- "to grasp" (see capable). Meaning "take into the mind" is from mid-14c., a figurative sense also found in the Old French and Latin words. Related: Conceived; conceiving.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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conceived in Medicine

conceive con·ceive (kən-sēv')
v. con·ceived, con·ceiv·ing, con·ceives

  1. To become pregnant.

  2. To apprehend mentally; to understand.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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