Immaculate Conception

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Proper noun[edit]

Immaculate Conception

  1. The doctrine, in the Roman Catholic Church, that the Virgin Mary was conceived biologically but free from original sin.
  2. December 8th (The Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary).
  3. (proscribed) The conception or incarnation of Jesus as viewed by those who believe that he was conceived without sin.
  4. (informal, proscribed) Any virgin birth or an event likened to one.
    I didn't think the cat had gotten out, but either she did or those kittens are a case of immaculate conception.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Usage referring to the conception of Jesus (by Mary and the Holy Spirit) rather than that of Mary (by her human parents) is based on ignorance or misunderstanding of the original term and of the doctrine it refers to, but it is nonetheless relatively widespread.


Further reading[edit]