Definition of conceive in English:



  • 1Become pregnant with (a child)

    ‘she was conceived when her father was 49’
    • ‘I cannot believe there are people who ask if our twins were conceived using fertility treatments or ‘naturally.’’
    • ‘Sylvia may be having twins conceived by different fathers.’
    • ‘One of the huge social and biological changes wrought by the invention of the oral contraceptive, the Pill, is that once and for all it divided sex from the act of fertilisation, of conceiving a baby.’
    • ‘It revealed that her parents had been engaged when she was conceived, but her father had died before they married.’
    • ‘I will tell them how they were conceived by taking the sperm of a man and fertilizing one of my eggs in a test tube and then putting it back in my ovary.’
    • ‘Since her birth, more than 1.4 million children worldwide have been conceived with the aid of fertility treatments.’
    • ‘The original Act was keen to ensure that no succession or inheritance rights were obtained by posthumously conceived children or children born from embryos implanted posthumously.’
    • ‘An Rh-negative mother and an Rh-positive father may conceive a baby who inherits the father's Rh-positive blood type.’
    • ‘What will happen to the child that was conceived with the father out of work and the mother in need of support during maternity?’
    • ‘‘The tulip range was conceived by combining the crystal vase and the flower to create an item which I hope people will desire,’ he said.’
    • ‘Children who are conceived through sperm or embryo donation may never learn the truth about their genetic background.’
    • ‘A naturally conceived fetus in a family with a genetic disorder such as thalassemia has less than a 20 percent chance of being disease free and immunity matched.’
    • ‘There are many children whose fathers died before they were born and were conceived naturally, and I think it's just the same for Liam.’
    • ‘Quinn herself was keen to have the first test - a matter of weeks after William's birth - because she and her husband were undergoing fertility treatment at the time the child was conceived.’
    • ‘When couples undergo IVF in hopes of conceiving a child, the procedure nearly always creates more embryos than will be used.’
    • ‘It may act as such, by suppressing ovulation, but it also works by making the lining of the womb hostile to the newly conceived embryo.’
    • ‘Louise Brown, the first human being to be conceived by in vitro fertilization, is a healthy, happy young woman who lives with her parents in England.’
    • ‘Julia's pregnancy was conceived using an in vitro fertilization procedure.’
    • ‘If a couple conceives several embryos in vitro, one without the disease-carrying gene can be chosen and implanted in the mother's womb.’
    • ‘Saffron was conceived using a new fertility treatment, ISCS, where a single sperm is injected into a single egg.’
    1. 1.1no object (of a woman) become pregnant.
      ‘five months ago Wendy conceived’
      • ‘Many women conceive before they have any idea they are pregnant.’
      • ‘It was also noted that a few women conceived after 5 unsuccessful months of treatment.’
      • ‘In a separate development, scientists have produced further evidence that smoking reduces the chances that a woman will conceive.’
      • ‘Keep in mind that while women are pregnant, that's approximately 9 months that women cannot conceive and bear another child.’
      • ‘And it was only on the final attempt in 2001 that the woman successfully conceived and went on to give birth in 2002.’
      • ‘Overall, 136 of the 221 women conceived during the study.’
      • ‘Miss Evans is arguing that Mr Johnston gave his consent at the time they were created and cannot remove it now and that if a woman conceived naturally a man could not legally force her to get rid of the embryo.’
      • ‘Being on the contraceptive pill does not reduce the chances of becoming pregnant later, and most women do conceive from one month to one year or so after discarding contraceptives, she says.’
      • ‘Nuharoo, Feng's wife, is outwardly pleasant, but when she cannot conceive and learns Orchid is pregnant, she undermines her.’
      • ‘Just because medical science has helped women conceive later and later in life doesn't mean it's a good thing.’
      • ‘These females conceived more male offspring, which may have been a consequence of having higher stress-induced serum testosterone levels.’
      • ‘The researchers believe the technique helps women conceive who had been unable to do so because of defects in their eggs.’
      • ‘He then became the first to help post - menopausal women conceive, prompting the Vatican to denounce his actions.’
      • ‘We are told that Moshe is to tell Bnai Yisrael that when a woman conceives and gives birth, she will have Tamei status for a certain amount of time.’
      • ‘No single treatment will be successful for everyone, but research has shown that the following simple, inexpensive treatments can help women conceive.’
      • ‘If a woman can conceive naturally when she is this age, how far should other women be assisted in pushing the boundaries of fertility?’
      • ‘If she does not conceive naturally within 6-8 months, she should have tubal patency tests for the existing tube.’
      • ‘Without exception, a woman can conceive at no other time than this approximately two-hour period, easily determined if her birth data are known.’
      • ‘Pregnancy rates included any measure that assessed whether a young woman had conceived or given birth or whether a young man had impregnated a young woman or fathered a child.’
      • ‘After three months of treatment, 20 women conceived.’
      get pregnant, become pregnant, become impregnated, become inseminated, become fertilized
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  • 2Form or devise (a plan or idea) in the mind.

    ‘the dam project was originally conceived in 1977’
    ‘a brilliantly conceived and executed robbery’
    • ‘A good idea conceived by a developer without access to hardware like this is likely to remain unexplored.’
    • ‘What sort of mind could possibly conceive an idea like this?’
    • ‘More than that, we have begun working in ways never dreamt of by Maynard Keynes when he first conceived the idea of government funding for the arts.’
    • ‘In 1908, Henry Ford, a farmer's boy from Michigan with little education, conceived the idea of a car designed for the masses.’
    • ‘He conceived the idea of a fish farm with two highly original advantages.’
    • ‘Flavin traveled to Marfa in the early 1980s, and models of the buildings and meeting notes suggest that he conceived his plans around that time.’
    • ‘But it is not only the premise around which the BKAA was conceived that created problems.’
    • ‘NAB conceived the idea for the study, developed the coding sheet for analysis, participated as a coder, and is the primary author and guarantor.’
    • ‘MK and AB conceived the idea, devised the protocol, and obtained funding for the study.’
    • ‘It would appear that even at present, Bekal Fort is putting up a defence, the only purpose for which it was conceived and created.’
    • ‘This trophy was conceived and beautifully created in bronze by Tim Denton.’
    • ‘Although the idea was conceived and its studio was established in Jakarta, the contribution of the regions has been very important to the advancement of the organisation.’
    • ‘In 1951, the French architect Le Corbusier conceived a master plan for the city - in only four days!’
    • ‘The tilted steel arches of the ljburg bridge in Amsterdam were conceived to created a pair of outdoor ‘rooms’ marking the transition from old land to new.’
    • ‘It was Bob Waterston who had conceived the bold plan to accelerate the project.’
    • ‘It was conceived and created by Graeme Glew, an industry consultant who has been involved in racing team management, a racing drivers' school and latterly in Formula One.’
    • ‘It was the masons who originally conceived the idea of a tightly-knit religious-intellectual sect, existing within yet apart from mainstream society.’
    • ‘They offer two brilliantly conceived plans to restore sound money to our economies and our lives.’
    • ‘Plans are conceived of as singular intentions, regarded as incongruous within a diverse society.’
    • ‘The Kendal Traffic Plan was conceived in 1996 as a four-stage scheme.’
    think up, think of, come up with, dream up, draw up, devise, form, formulate, design, frame, invent, coin, originate, create, develop, evolve
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    1. 2.1 Form a mental representation of; imagine.
      ‘without society an individual cannot be conceived as having rights’
      no object ‘we could not conceive of such things happening to us’
      • ‘And the wildest of imaginations could not conceive of Iraq as a strategic threat to the world's only superpower.’
      • ‘Hume notes that we cannot imagine or conceive of the negations of typical mathematical theorems, but this seems to be a weak hold on the necessity of mathematics.’
      • ‘This question of how to conceive of human mental capacities is a vexed one.’
      • ‘This is because anything which is pain feels like pain, so we cannot imagine or conceive of something that is really pain but does not feel like it.’
      • ‘Discourse is thereby conceived as a ‘generative mechanism’ rather than as a self-referential sphere in which nothing of significance exists outside it.’
      • ‘I don't really want to believe it, it requires an enormous mental leap to conceive of all this stuff around me, the fabric of our society, is so fragile and ephemeral but this is what logic dictates.’
      • ‘Terms limits were conceived as a way to safeguard against such possibilities.’
      • ‘But why should human rights be conceived as pre-institutional?’
      • ‘They should make that moral choice that they will not do anything which might be remotely conceived as supporting the regime.’
      • ‘The alternative is the dream conceived by our Founding Fathers, up to the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with an orderly society.’
      • ‘Certain genres have traditionally been conceived as male territory, thereby limiting or repressing the expression of female writers.’
      • ‘Risk is conceived as the possibility of triggering unexpected, unlikely, and detrimental consequences by means of a decision attributable to a decision maker.’
      • ‘Furthermore, caring relationships between adults are generally conceived as relationships of equality, with each party able to exit.’
      • ‘The show has been conceived as including the three aspects of his life, as Einstein - the Man, the Scientist as well as the Humanist-Philosopher.’
      • ‘At its best, his show celebrates the capacity of our imagination to conceive of, then rationalise, the ridiculous.’
      • ‘These could be values conceived as residing in nature or in nature as representative of something still beyond nature, the in-someway supernatural.’
      • ‘If we look back in to the Old Testament, at books such as Leviticus, we see the word of God that could not possible be conceived as acceptable in modern standards.’
      • ‘One may conceive of individual representations while abstracting from those physical repercussions which accompany them or follow them, but do not constitute them.’
      • ‘It doesn't take a great stretch of the imagination to conceive of who ‘such people’ are.’
      • ‘Normalcy, in this version, was conceived as full integration - without any of the surreptitious derogations and defaults of the past - into a liberalised European economy.’
      imagine, envisage, visualize, picture, picture in one's mind's eye, conjure up an image of, think, see, perceive, grasp, appreciate, apprehend
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    2. 2.2literary Become affected by (a feeling)
      ‘he conceived a passion for football’
      • ‘Natalie Walter plays Marie-Louise as vulgar and irritating and it is hard to believe that she was a friend of Constance, nor that John Middleton could ever have conceived a passion for her.’
      • ‘When Germany's Chancellor Otto von Bismarck conceived a system of social security for the industrial workers in the late 19th century he had a very clear objective in mind.’
      • ‘We all know in our hearts that this is where the horror is conceived and from there it is only a very short pathway to the birth of death, destruction and mayhem.’
      • ‘The son of a country policeman, Archibald grew up in Warrnambool, Victoria, where he was apprenticed in the printery of the local paper and conceived an ambition to be a journalist.’
      • ‘I will only say - for I have to say it - that in my early manhood I conceived a horror of him, and that I had good reason for the aversion which filled me.’
      • ‘In 1903, after an exalted correspondence, he met Blok, with whom he was to have a long ‘inimical friendship’, and for whose wife he conceived a complex passion.’
      • ‘Writing in the FT John Lloyd reports that the Guardian has conceived the ambition of becoming the newspaper of the contemporary - that is, liberal - establishment.’
      • ‘Floyd Levin is a businessman who conceived an admiration for New Orleans jazz which led him to a parallel life as reporter, entrepreneur and jazz activist.’
      • ‘The landowner instantly conceives a dislike of the dog and demands that she be gotten rid of.’
      • ‘He afterwards commanded with distinction in the War of the Spanish Succession, though he conceived a lasting hatred of the duke of Marlborough, much to Tory delight.’
      • ‘This was a setback because he had conceived an ambition to study physics with Boltzmann in Vienna.’
      • ‘He conceives a great affection for his serving man, Joe Kelley, who delivers him frequent samples of Irish humor, while secretly plotting to frame Glenthorn as the ringleader of a tenant rebellion.’
      • ‘As a boy in the 1920s he conceived an undying love for the ancient Roman poet Horace, and since then has learned nothing more about him or Rome.’
      • ‘Separated from his fellow actors he encounters Titania, who conceives a passion for him.’
      • ‘Let's say instead of French interiors, which seemed so appealing in the museum, we've conceived a passion for dogs in art.’
      • ‘He conceived a love for the extensive grounds of Pembroke Lodge, with their handsome views of the surrounding country.’
      • ‘Brand himself is a cold fish and a nervous character, who conceives a murderous hatred for his junior officer.’
      • ‘The first cad we meet - a man who has conceived a fantastic hatred for a small physical flaw in his wife - is plausible and shocking.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, Mr Wilkins has conceived a huge dislike for his obnoxiously efficient chief clerk, Mr Dunster, and his conveyancing business is going to the dogs.’
      • ‘So long as no English king conceived the unrealistic ambition of conquering Scotland, there was no reason for that to change.’


Middle English: from Old French concevoir, from Latin concipere, from com- ‘together’ + capere ‘take’.