conceive

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English conceiven, borrowed from Old French concevoir, conceveir, from Latin concipiō, concipere (to take), from con- (together) + capiō (to take). Compare deceive, perceive, receive.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /kənˈsiːv/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -iːv

Verb[edit]

conceive (third-person singular simple present conceives, present participle conceiving, simple past and past participle conceived)

  1. (transitive) To develop an idea; to form in the mind; to plan; to devise; to originate.
    • 1606, Antony and Cleopatra, Shakespeare, II-4
      We shall, / As I conceive the journey, be at the Mount / Before you, Lepidus.
    • (Can we date this quote by Gibbon and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      It was among the ruins of the Capitol that I first conceived the idea of a work which has amused and exercised near twenty years of my life.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 3, in The Celebrity:
      Now all this was very fine, but not at all in keeping with the Celebrity's character as I had come to conceive it. The idea that adulation ever cloyed on him was ludicrous in itself. In fact I thought the whole story fishy, and came very near to saying so.
  2. (transitive) To understand (someone).
    • (Can we date this quote by Nathaniel Hawthorne and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      I conceive you.
    • (Can we date this quote by Jonathan Swift and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      You will hardly conceive him to have been bred in the same climate.
  3. (intransitive or transitive) To become pregnant (with).
    Assisted procreation can help those trying to conceive.

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