Conceit definition

kən-sēt
Frequency:
The definition of conceit is a strong, exaggerated opinion of one's self.

An example of conceit is having excessive pride in one's own intellectual abilities.

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(archaic) Estimation or opinion of something, especially when favorable.
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Quickness of apprehension; active imagination; lively fancy.
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Unduly favorable estimation of one's own abilities or worth; overly positive self-regard.
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A witty expression or fanciful idea.
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A fanciful poetic image, especially an elaborate or exaggerated comparison.
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(obsolete) The result of intellectual activity; a thought or an opinion.
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A decorative article; a knickknack.
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An extravagant, fanciful, and elaborate construction or structure.
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A flight of imagination; fancy.
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A small, imaginatively designed item.
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An idea; thought; concept.
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Personal opinion.
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A fanciful or witty expression or notion; often, specif., a striking and elaborate metaphor, sometimes one regarded, esp. formerly, as strained and arbitrary.
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The use of such expressions in writing or speaking.
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Bible, Proverbs xxvi. 12

A man wise in his own conceit.

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The faculty of conceiving ideas; mental faculty; apprehension.

A man of quick conceit.

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(now rare, dialectal) Esteem, favourable opinion. [from 15th c.]
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(countable) A novel or fanciful idea; a whim. [from 16th c.]
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(countable, rhetoric, literature) An ingenious expression or metaphorical idea, especially in extended form or used as a literary or rhetorical device. [from 16th c.]
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(uncountable) Overly high self-esteem; vain pride; hubris. [from 17th c.]
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Design; pattern.

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Shakespeare.

One of two bad ways you must conceit me, / Either a coward or a flatterer.

verb
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(chiefly british) To take a fancy to.
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(obsolete) To understand; conceive.
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An exaggerated opinion of oneself, one's merits, etc.; vanity.
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(obs.) To think or imagine.
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(brit., dial.) To think well of; take a fancy to.
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
conceit
Plural:
conceits

Origin of conceit

  • Middle English mind, conception from Anglo-Norman conceite from Late Latin conceptus concept

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Apparently formed from conceive, by analogy with deceive/deceit, receive/receipt etc.

    From Wiktionary