Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To become pregnant with (offspring).
  • transitive v. To form or develop in the mind; devise: conceive a plan to increase profits.
  • transitive v. To apprehend mentally; understand: couldn't conceive the meaning of that sentence.
  • transitive v. To be of the opinion that; think: didn't conceive such a tragedy could occur.
  • transitive v. To begin or originate in a specific way: a political movement conceived in the ferment of the 1960s.
  • intransitive v. To form or hold an idea: Ancient peoples conceived of the earth as flat.
  • intransitive v. To become pregnant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To develop an idea.
  • v. To understand someone.
  • v. To become pregnant.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

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

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

Etymologies

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.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English conceiven, from Old French concevoir, concever, from Latin concipere ("to take"), from con- ("together") + capio ("to take"). Compare deceive, perceive, receive. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • "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'

  • 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

  • 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?

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

    Dr. Tian Dayton: Anxiety: What We Have in Common with Baboons

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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)

Comments

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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