American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A favorable and especially unduly high opinion of one's own abilities or worth.
- n. An ingenious or witty turn of phrase or thought.
- n. A fanciful poetic image, especially an elaborate or exaggerated comparison.
- n. A poem or passage consisting of such an image.
- n. The result of intellectual activity; a thought or an opinion.
- n. A fanciful thought or idea.
- n. A fancy article; a knickknack.
- n. An extravagant, fanciful, and elaborate construction or structure: "An eccentric addition to the lobby is a life-size wooden horse, a 19th century conceit” ( Mimi Sheraton).
- v. Chiefly British To take a fancy to.
- v. Obsolete To understand; conceive.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. That which is conceived, imagined, or formed in the mind; conception; idea; thought; image.
- n. The faculty of conceiving; understanding; apprehension.
- n. Opinion; estimation; view or belief.
- n. An undue opinion; a baseless fancy; a crotchety notion.
- n. An exaggerated estimate of one's own mental ability, or of the importance or value of what one has done; an overvaluation of one's own acuteness, wit, learning, etc.; self-conceit: as, a man inflated with conceit.
- n. A witty, happy, or ingenious thought or expression; a quaint or humorous fancy; wit; humor; ingenuity; especially, in modern usage, a quaint or odd thought; a thought or expression intended to be striking or poetical, but rather far-fetched, insipid, or pedantic.
- n. A fanciful or ingenious device or invention.
- n. A trifle; a dainty; a kickshaw.
- n. Synonyms Vagary, whim, illusion.
- n. Pride, Vanity, etc. (see egotism), self-sufficiency, self-complacency.
- To conceive; imagine; think; suppose; form an idea of.
- Reflexively, to imagine; fancy; think; believe: implying error.
- To cause to imagine.
- To form a notion; have an opinion; conceive.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. That which is conceived, imagined, or formed in the mind; idea; thought; image; conception.
- n. obsolete Faculty of conceiving ideas; mental faculty; apprehension.
- n. Quickness of apprehension; active imagination; lively fancy.
- n. A fanciful, odd, or extravagant notion; a quant fancy; an unnatural or affected conception; a witty thought or turn of expression; a fanciful device; a whim; a quip.
- n. An overweening idea of one's self; vanity.
- n. obsolete Design; pattern.
- v. Archaic To conceive; to imagine.
- v. obsolete To form an idea; to think.
- n. an artistic device or effect
- n. the trait of being unduly vain and conceited; false pride
- n. feelings of excessive pride
- n. a witty or ingenious turn of phrase
- n. an elaborate poetic image or a far-fetched comparison of very dissimilar things
- Apparently formed from conceive, by analogy with deceive/deceit, receive/receipt etc. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, mind, conception, from Anglo-Norman conceite, from Late Latin conceptus; see concept. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“His persons, however distressed, _have a conceit left them in their misery, a miserable conceit_.”
“This would be true by definition; just as the investigation and explication of the conceit is what defines the process as fabulation, the source and nature of the main conceit (s) is what defines the process as scientific.”
“If it's all strange fiction, if a conceit is a conceit (and can be explained, excused or exploited) regardless of whether it's counterfactual, hypothetical or metaphysical, we have problems, I think, in sticking to Suvin's term "novum".”
“The conceit is an implicit narrative of subtext: the quirk “would have happened” or “would happen” in the case of these developments taking place.”
“The modern conceit is that ‘myself’ can be used as subject, direct and indirect object.”
“The series may not solve the problems raised by the buzzy documentary "Waiting for 'Superman,'" but its reality-show conceit is kinder and gentler than most.”
“The connecting conceit is that Guard Mice at a tavern are telling tales to outdo one another.”
“This time the conceit is that when rival teams of astronauts head into space to prevent the impending cataclysm they discover alien forces on the satellite.”
“That conceit is almost a great joke in and of itself.”
“The entire sovereignty conceit is one of our most baleful inheritances from the Roman Empire.”
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-a unit of language consisting of one or more spoken sounds or their written representation, that functions as a principal carrier of meaning.
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