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[kon-sept] /ˈkɒn sɛpt/
a general notion or idea; conception.
an idea of something formed by mentally combining all its characteristics or particulars; a construct.
a directly conceived or intuited object of thought.
verb (used with object)
Informal. to develop a concept of; conceive:
Experts pooled their talents to concept the new car.
1550-60; < Latin conceptum something conceived, orig. neuter of conceptus (past participle of concipere), equivalent to con- con- + cep- (variant stem of -cipere, combining form of capere to seize) + -tus past participle ending
Can be confused
concept, conception, inception. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for concepts
  • In this lesson, students investigate the scientific concepts and principles that help make common toys work.
  • It's difficult for policy makers and campus leaders to get their heads around abstract concepts of the future.
  • When people worry about a glut of liquidity, they are thinking of the first of these concepts.
  • Eco-friendly building incorporates a wide variety of concepts and strategies during the design and construction process.
  • Drawing as one attempts to learn science concepts can help in reasoning and basic understanding.
  • Usually these discussions leave my head spinning, unable to keep track of all of the concepts being flung my way.
  • The chefs presented brunch concepts that reflected the flavors of their home base.
  • But it doesn't have to be that way, as futuristic cell phone concepts constantly remind us.
  • He explained his concepts in speeches and seminars worldwide.
  • They present every topic as a series of skills and building-block concepts.
British Dictionary definitions for concepts


an idea, esp an abstract idea: the concepts of biology
(philosophy) a general idea or notion that corresponds to some class of entities and that consists of the characteristic or essential features of the class
  1. the conjunction of all the characteristic features of something
  2. a theoretical construct within some theory
  3. a directly intuited object of thought
  4. the meaning of a predicate
(modifier) (of a product, esp a car) created as an exercise to demonstrate the technical skills and imagination of the designers, and not intended for mass production or sale
Word Origin
C16: from Latin conceptum something received or conceived, from concipere to take in, 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 concepts



1550s, from Medieval Latin conceptum "draft, abstract," in classical Latin "(a thing) conceived," from concep-, past participle stem of concipere "to take in" (see conceive). In some 16c. cases a refashioning of conceit (perhaps to avoid negative connotations).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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concepts in Medicine

concept con·cept (kŏn'sěpt')

  1. An abstract idea or notion.

  2. An explanatory principle in a scientific system. Also called conception.

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


in the Analytic school of philosophy, the subject matter of philosophy, which philosophers of the Analytic school hold to be concerned with the salient features of the language in which people speak of concepts at issue. Concepts are thus logical, not mental, entities. A typical instance of the use of concept is in The Concept of Mind (1949) by Gilbert Ryle, an Oxford Analyst, which implies that the purpose of the author is not to investigate matters of fact empirically (i.e., by the methods of psychology) about the mind itself but to investigate its "logical geography." Similarly, investigation of the logical features of discourse about pleasure or duty or remembering is concerned with the concepts of pleasure or duty or memory. To be able to use these linguistic expressions is to apply, or possess, the concepts.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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