from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To become pregnant with (offspring).
  • intransitive verb To form or develop in the mind.
  • intransitive verb To apprehend mentally; understand.
  • intransitive verb To be of the opinion that; think.
  • intransitive verb To begin or originate in a specific way.
  • intransitive verb To form or hold an idea.
  • intransitive verb To become pregnant.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To apprehend in the mind; form a distinct and correct notion of, or a notion which is not absurd: as, we cannot conceive an effect without a cause.
  • To form as a general notion in the mind; represent in a general notion or conception in the mind; hence, design; plan; devise.
  • To hold as an opinion; think; suppose; believe.
  • To admit into the mind; have a sense or impression of; feel; experience.
  • To formulate in words; express: as, he received a letter conceived in the following terms.
  • To understand.
  • To become pregnant with; bring into existence in the womb in an embryonic state.
  • To generate; give rise to; bring into existence.
  • To take in a mental image; have or form a conception or idea; have apprehension; think: with of.
  • To hold an opinion: with of.
  • To understand.
  • To become pregnant.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To have an embryo or fetus formed in the womb; to breed; to become pregnant.
  • intransitive verb To have a conception, idea, or opinion; think; -- with of.
  • transitive verb To receive into the womb and begin to breed; to begin the formation of the embryo of.
  • transitive verb To form in the mind; to plan; to devise; to generate; to originate.
  • transitive verb To apprehend by reason or imagination; to take into the mind; to know; to imagine; to comprehend; to understand.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive To develop an idea.
  • verb transitive To understand someone.
  • verb To become pregnant.

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

  • verb become pregnant; undergo conception
  • verb have the idea for
  • verb judge or regard; look upon; judge


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

[Middle English conceiven, from Old French concevoir, conceiv-, from Latin concipere : com-, intensive pref.; see com– + capere, to take; see kap- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English conceiven, from Old French concevoir, concever, from Latin concipere ("to take"), from con- ("together") + capio ("to take"). Compare deceive, perceive, receive.


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  • "Therefore, as a precautionary measure, our advice to pregnant women and women trying to conceive is to avoid alcohol."

    Light drinking during pregnancy 'does children no harm' Sarah Boseley 2010

  • And what do you conceive is the “just reward []” for giving a cop the middle finger?

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Kobach on Arizona’s Immigration Law 2010

  • Stick with the current recommendations for Folic Acid intake, which in pregnancy and in women trying to conceive is 400 ug daily.

    Folic Acid Supplementation - Too Much of a Good Thing? aka TBTAM 2009

  • Human beings can, in short, conceive of and create change; we can use our minds to reframe, to see things in a better light.

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  • Toronto gave me no instructions, but I went on record there, practically in line with our present Leader of the Opposition at Ottawa, that we should present immediately ships and, if necessary, men and money, so that the crisis which I conceive is very near at hand, should be met by us as Canadian citizens and as citizens of the Empire.

    The Commercial Congress of the Empire at Sydney 1910

  • How she contrives, with such opinions or no opinions, to keep herself so serene and cheerful, I am perplexed to conceive: is it the old story of the 'cork going safely over the falls of Niagara, where everything weightier would sink?'

    Letters and Memorials of Jane Welsh Carlyle 1883

  • The situation, we conceive, is one which, if for a moment good sense and good feeling could come into play between the contending parties, might be turned to advantage.

    America--North and South 1864

  • If he had not the sterner nobility of purpose which made the first of his name conceive and partially carry into effect the ideal reign of justice which was the first want of his kingdom, he had yet a noble ambition for Scotland to make her honoured and feared and famous, and the success with which he seems to have carried out this object of his life for many years was great.

    Royal Edinburgh Her Saints, Kings, Prophets and Poets George Reid 1862

  • I can: the word conceive, therefore, is here used to express the recognition of a matter of fact — the perception of truth or falsehood; which I apprehend to be exactly the meaning of an act of belief, as distinguished from simple conception.

    A System Of Logic, Ratiocinative And Inductive John Stuart Mill 1839

  • The child she shall conceive is a holy thing, and therefore must not be conceived by ordinary generation, because he must not share in the common corruption and pollution of the human nature.

    Commentary on the Whole Bible Volume V (Matthew to John) 1721


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  • You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. Luke 1:31, 32a

    December 20, 2010