A preconception is an idea or opinion you have about something before you really know much about it. You might have the preconception that all New Yorkers are rude until you visit the city and start meeting friendly people.

Imagine you give your friend an assessment of a popular TV show, saying, "Oh, it's so boring!" despite the fact that you've never seen it. Your negative opinion of the show is a preconception — you may be correct about the show, but you won't know until you actually sit down a watch a few episodes. Preconception comes from pre, "before," and the Latin concipere, "to take in and hold."

Definitions of preconception

n an opinion formed beforehand without adequate evidence

“he did not even try to confirm his preconceptions
parti pris, preconceived idea, preconceived notion, preconceived opinion, prepossession
Type of:
opinion, persuasion, reckoning, sentiment, thought, view
a personal belief or judgment that is not founded on proof or certainty

n a partiality that prevents objective consideration of an issue or situation

bias, prejudice
show 9 types...
hide 9 types...
taboo, tabu
a prejudice (especially in Polynesia and other South Pacific islands) that prohibits the use or mention of something because of its sacred nature
irrational hostility
extreme prejudice
experimenter bias
(psychology) bias introduced by an experimenter whose expectations about the outcome of the experiment can be subtly communicated to the participants in the experiment
prejudice against (fear or dislike of) homosexual people and homosexuality
prejudice against Muslims
the prejudice that members of one race are intrinsically superior to members of other races
an intentional and controversial bias
anti-Semitism, antisemitism
the intense dislike for and prejudice against Jewish people
white supremacy
the prejudice that members of the white race are superior to members of other races
Type of:
partiality, partisanship
an inclination to favor one group or view or opinion over alternatives

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.