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  • Verb




I conceived or developed in my mind the idea of a new wheelchair basketball game when I was stuck in the hospital. Being shut in like that made me conceive or design a plan to move around as much as possible. My brother was the one who conceived or thought up using hospital trash cans for baskets at either end of the hall. The nurse whose food trays we kept on knocking over while playing looked like she was conceiving or thinking up ways to give us more shots to make us pay for doing so!

Quiz: What happens when you conceive something?

  • You form a thought or idea of it.
  • You fully understand it, no matter how hard it is.
  • You wonder about it for a long time.

Memory Hook

Cone Received I would like to conceive of an ice-cream cone received on this very hot day!


  • . . . the result was a Leonardo da Vinci, who painted his pictures, experimented with his balloons and flying machines, drained the marshes of the Lombardian plains and “expressed” his joy and interest in all things between Heaven and Earth in prose, in painting, in sculpture, and in curiously conceived engines. —The Story of Mankind
  • Yesterday, on conceiving the trick, I pared down a firm white turnip to resemble the end of a candle. —A Gathering of Days

Word Ingredients

con- thoroughly
ceiv take, seize, grasp mentally
e used for spelling and pronunciation

When you conceive an idea, you “thoroughly grasp [it] mentally” or “thoroughly take” it into your mind.

Word Theater

MASH Honnicutt's master plan that he conceived did not take into account Margaret's state of mind.

Word Constellation


Word Variants

conception n an idea or thought formed in the mind
concept n an idea or thought