Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th 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).
  • transitive v. Chiefly British To take a fancy to.
  • transitive v. Obsolete To understand; conceive.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To form an idea; to think.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. That which is conceived, imagined, or formed in the mind; idea; thought; image; conception.
  • n. 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. Design; pattern.
  • transitive v. To conceive; to imagine.
  • intransitive v. To form an idea; to think.

from The 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.

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

  • 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

Etymologies

Middle English, mind, conception, from Anglo-Norman conceite, from Late Latin conceptus; see concept.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Apparently formed from conceive, by analogy with deceive/deceit, receive/receipt etc. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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