Etymology
Advertisement

conceit (n.)

late 14c., "a thought, a notion, that which is mentally conceived," from conceiven (see conceive) based on analogy of deceit/deceive and receipt/receive. Sense evolved from "something formed in the mind" to "fanciful or witty notion, ingenious thought" (1510s), to "vanity, exaggerated estimate of one's own mental abilities" (c. 1600) through shortening of self-conceit (1580s).

A doublet of concept, it sometimes was spelled conceipt in Middle English. Sometimes the Italian form concetto (plural concetti) was used in English 18c.-19c. for "piece of affected wit;" OED describes it as "a term originally proper to Italian literature."

Others are reading

Advertisement
Advertisement
Definitions of conceit

conceit (n.)
feelings of excessive pride;
Synonyms: amour propre / self-love / vanity
conceit (n.)
an elaborate poetic image or a far-fetched comparison of very dissimilar things;
conceit (n.)
a witty or ingenious turn of phrase;
he could always come up with some inspired off-the-wall conceit
conceit (n.)
an artistic device or effect;
the architect's brilliant conceit was to build the house around the tree
conceit (n.)
the trait of being unduly vain and conceited; false pride;
Synonyms: conceitedness / vanity
From wordnet.princeton.edu