Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Formation of a viable zygote by the union of the male sperm and female ovum; fertilization.
  • n. The entity formed by the union of the male sperm and female ovum; an embryo or zygote.
  • n. The ability to form or understand mental concepts and abstractions.
  • n. Something conceived in the mind; a concept, plan, design, idea, or thought. See Synonyms at idea.
  • n. Archaic A beginning; a start.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The act of conceiving.
  • n. The state of being conceived; the beginning.
  • n. The fertilization of an ovum by a sperm to form a zygote.
  • n. The start of pregnancy.
  • n. The formation of a conceptus or an implanted embryo.
  • n. The power or faculty of apprehending of forming an idea in the mind; the power of recalling a past sensation or perception; the ability to form mental abstractions.
  • n. An image, idea, or notion formed in the mind; a concept, plan or design.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of conceiving in the womb; the initiation of an embryonic animal life.
  • n. The state of being conceived; beginning.
  • n. The power or faculty of apprehending of forming an idea in the mind; the power of recalling a past sensation or perception.
  • n. The formation in the mind of an image, idea, or notion, apprehension.
  • n. The image, idea, or notion of any action or thing which is formed in the mind; a concept; a notion; a universal; the product of a rational belief or judgment. See Concept.
  • n. Idea; purpose; design.
  • n. Conceit; affected sentiment or thought.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act or power of conceiving in the mind, or of forming a concept; that which is conceived in the mind.
  • n. In philosophy: The act of conceiving or of forming a concept, or the concept itself; a notion.
  • n. Improperly, the faculty of reproductive imagination.
  • n. Thought, notion, or idea, in a loose sense: as, you have no conception how clever he is.
  • n. A fanciful thought; a conceit.
  • n. The act of becoming pregnant; the beginning of pregnancy; the inception of the life of an embryo; hence, figuratively, beginning; origination.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an abstract or general idea inferred or derived from specific instances
  • n. the creation of something in the mind
  • n. the event that occurred at the beginning of something
  • n. the act of becoming pregnant; fertilization of an ovum by a spermatozoon

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English concepcioun, from Old French conception, from Latin conceptiō, conceptiōn-, from conceptus; see concept.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English conceptioun, from Old French conception, from Latin conceptio ("a comprehending, a collection, composition, an expression, also a becoming pregnant"), from concipere, past participle conceptus ("conceive"); see conceive.

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