a. Unduly favorable estimation of one's own abilities or worth; overly positive self-regard.
b. Archaic Estimation or opinion of something, especially when favorable.
a. A witty expression or fanciful idea: "opinionated and very funny in his conceits" (Paul Theroux).
b. A fanciful poetic image, especially an elaborate or exaggerated comparison.
c. Obsolete The result of intellectual activity; a thought or an opinion.
a. A decorative article; a knickknack.
b. An extravagant, fanciful, and elaborate construction or structure: "a bulky stone conceit with its paws clenched" (Edie Meidev).
tr.v. con·ceit·ed, con·ceit·ing, con·ceits
1. Chiefly British To take a fancy to.
2. Obsolete To understand; conceive.
[Middle English, mind, conception, from Anglo-Norman conceite, from Late Latin conceptus; see CONCEPT.]
Synonyms: conceit, egoism, egotism, narcissism, vanity
These nouns denote excessively high regard for oneself: boasting that reveals conceit; the blatant egoism of his self-flattering memoir; arrogance and egotism that were obvious from her actions; narcissism that shut out everyone else; wounded his vanity by looking in the mirror.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.