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

  • noun The aspect of mental processes or behavior directed toward action or change and including impulse, desire, volition, and striving.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An endeavor or attempt.
  • noun In psychology, voluntary agency, embracing desire and volition.
  • noun In sociology, social effort, especially that put forth by a community to transform its environment.

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

  • noun (Philos.) The power or act which directs or impels to effort of any kind, whether muscular or psychical.

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

  • noun philosophy The power or act which directs or impels to effort of any kind, whether muscular or psychical.


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

[Latin cōnātiō, cōnātiōn-, effort, from cōnātus, past participle of cōnārī, to try.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin conatio ("an act of attempting")


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  • Adulthood is often referred to as the point of conation.

    Daddy? When Am I Ready To Have Sex? 2009

  • This can, of course be considered either a specific acceptance, or the more general and important aspect of human maturation called “conation”—the acceptance of responsibility.

    Archive 2007-02-01 Steven Barnes 2007

  • Especially pp. 111-115 on ˜pro-attitudes™, including pleasure, as explanatory (i.e., involving conation of various kinds, as it seems) and pp. 127-32 on enjoyment.

    Pleasure Katz, Leonard D. 2006

  • Accordingly our definition of desire becomes ‘conation-for-the-pleasant’: for the word ‘desire’ is the exact equivalent of the words

    Topics 2002

  • For often those who exhibit the conation do not perceive what is good or pleasant, so that their aim need not be really good or pleasant, but only apparently so.

    Topics 2002

  • Moreover, in the case of conations, and in any other cases where it applies, see if the word ‘apparent’ is left out, e.g. ‘wishing is a conation after the good’, or

    Topics 2002

  • [241] Here I am thinking of will in such a way that it includes not only decision and choice (the executive function of will) but also loves and hates, desire and conation (the affective function of will).

    Warranted Christian Belief 1932- 2000

  • HILGARD, E. R. The trilogy of mind: Cognition, affection, and conation.

    Handbook of Stress Leo Goldberger 1993

  • An alien brain, or a cybernetic one like Jaccavrie's, could think; it was aware; it had conation.

    Explorations ANDERSON, Poul 1981

  • I suspect what he does is almost instantly to analyze the pattern, identify universals of logic and conation, go on from there to reconstruct the whole mental configuration-as if his nervous system included not only sensitivity to the radiation of others, but an organic semantic computer fantastically beyond anything that Technic civilization has built.

    The Day Of Their Return Anderson, Poul, 1926- 1973


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