8

What is the difference between notion and conception?

4

According to The Free Online Dictionary, here is a comparison of synonyms of idea:

Synonyms: idea, thought, notion, concept, conception

These nouns refer to what is formed or represented in the mind as the product of mental activity.

Idea has the widest range: "Human history is in essence a history of ideas" (H.G. Wells).

Thought is distinctively intellectual and stresses contemplation and reasoning: "Language is the dress of thought" (Samuel Johnson).

Notion often refers to a vague, general, or even fanciful idea: "She certainly has some notion of drawing" (Rudyard Kipling).

Concept and conception are applied to mental formulations on a broad scale: You seem to have absolutely no concept of time. "Every succeeding scientific discovery makes greater nonsense of old-time conceptions of sovereignty" (Anthony Eden).

  • still confused. what's the diff between idea and mental formulation. – user3780 Mar 9 '11 at 8:04
2

One can have many notions about a single concept but a notion usually cannot be about many concepts.

1

According to dictionary.com, a notion is a vague or imperfect conception.

Thus we may talk about a person having "odd notions" concerning something. On the other hand we may a person has a very "clear conception" of a topic.

So there is a good deal of overlap in meaning but if you wish to emphasise the imperfect nature of an idea you may use notion.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.