idea


idea
idea, concept, conception, thought, notion, impression mean what exists in the mind as a representation of something that it apprehends or comprehends or as a formulation of an opinion, a plan, or a design.
Idea is the most comprehensive and widely applicable of these terms; it may be used of an image of something at one time or another actually perceived through the senses, or of something never perceived but visualized from bits of information
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described his idea of a penthouse

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his idea of heaven does not correspond to that of most persons

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our ideas of a good time aren't the same, and never will be— Rose Macaulay

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or of something that is the clearly or vaguely defined product of fancy, imagination, or inventive power
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he . . . invented a new kind of buoy which was found by the authorities to be excellent in idea, but impracticable— Ellis

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the idea of holiness has its history, like other religious ideas, and the history is not edifying— Inge

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one of those accepted ideas, which are always wrong, that China is and was a country of immovable and unchanging traditions— Binyon

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It may denote a mere supposition
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I had no idea that the law had been so great a slavery— Austen

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or a good or practical solution or suggestion
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a very clever point that .... You are really full of ideasShaw

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or a ridiculous or preposterous suggestion
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Mr. Elton in love with me! What an idealAusten

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Concept applies in logic to the idea of a thing which the mind conceives after knowing many instances of the category to which it belongs and which is devoid of all details except those that are typical or generic
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the concept of "horse," "table," "mountain"

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the author of Mein Kampf has abolished the whole concept of the citizen as we have known it from the days of Pericles— Dorothy Thompson

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In more general use the term applies to a formulated and widely accepted idea of what a thing should be
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we find among the Greeks germinal concepts which are a vital part of modern thought— Buchan

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thus the popular concept of what news was came more and more to be formed upon what news was printed— Mott

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Conception is often used in place of concept in this latter sense; in fact it is sometimes preferred by those who wish to keep concept as a technical term of logic. However conception so strongly suggests the activity of the mental power of bringing into existence an idea of something not yet realized or not yet given outward form that it often implies not only the exercise of the reflective powers but of the imagination as colored by feeling; the term therefore more often applies to a peculiar or an individual idea than to one held by men as a whole or by an entire class, pro-fession, or group
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compare Poe's conception of poetry as "the rhythmical creation of beauty" with the Aristotelian conception of it as the imitation of human actions "according to probability and necessity"

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what I needed was . . . some clear conception of the meaning of existence— L. P. Smithy

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Conception is also, especially in literary and art criticism, the usual term for the idea or design conceived by the writer or artist in advance of or in company with his giving it expression or form
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Dante's boldness of conception

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the dramatist's power to express his conception with frankness and daring

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the conception comes through the actual execution— Alexander

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Thought applies either to an expressed or to an unexpressed idea, especially one that comes into the mind as a result of meditation, reasoning, or contemplation
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a child's thoughts about God

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he had not a thought of disaster

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have to wait for the occasional genius, or the occasional lucky thoughtWhitehead

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his mind ran over the great cities .... Of them all, only New York was as it had always been, and he was angered at the thoughtBuck

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Notion often adds to idea's implication of vagueness the suggestion of caprice or whim or of half-formed or tentative purpose or intention
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her notion of a delta was a lot of channels and islands— Forester

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one never does form a just idea of anybody beforehand. One takes up a notion, and runs away with it— Austen

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modest, sober, cured of all her notions hyperbolical— Cowper

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but notion may also come close to concept in suggesting a general or universal concept
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arriving at the notion of law— Babbitt

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or to conception in denoting the meaning content assigned by the mind to a term
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have no adequate notion of what we mean by cau-sation— Sapir

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Impression (see also IMPRESSION I) usually suggests an idea which comes into the mind as the result of an external stimulus
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I should like to know your first impressions of this book

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poetry . . . aims at the transmission ... of impressions, not facts— Lowes

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looking out over the steep hills, the first impression is of an immense void like the sea— Jefferies

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Analogous words: *opinion, view, belief, conviction, sentiment: *hypothesis, theory, law

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Idea — • The word was originally Greek, but passed without change into Latin. It seems first to have meant form, shape, or appearance, whence, by an easy transition, it acquired the connotation of nature, or kind Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight.… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • idea — sustantivo femenino 1. Representación mental de una cosa: Tienes una idea equivocada de la amistad. 2. Conjunto de conocimientos sobre una persona o sobre una cosa: Tengo una idea confusa de lo que ocurrió aquella noche. 3. Intención: Tenemos la… …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

  • idea — (Del lat. idĕa, y este del gr. ἰδέα, forma, apariencia). 1. f. Primero y más obvio de los actos del entendimiento, que se limita al simple conocimiento de algo. 2. Imagen o representación que del objeto percibido queda en la mente. Su idea no se… …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • Idea — I*de a, n.; pl. {Ideas}. [L. idea, Gr. ?, fr. ? to see; akin to E. wit: cf. F. id[ e]e. See {Wit}.] 1. The transcript, image, or picture of a visible object, that is formed by the mind; also, a similar image of any object whatever, whether… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • idea — /i dɛa/ s.f. [dal gr. idéa, propr. aspetto, forma, apparenza ]. 1. a. (filos.) [rappresentazione mentale di un ente reale o astratto: i. di Dio, dell universo ; i. del bello ] ▶◀ concetto, immagine, nozione. ‖ archetipo, ideale, modello.… …   Enciclopedia Italiana

  • idea — contenido mental, producto de las punciones intelectuales que puede estar formada de conceptos o imágenes Diccionario ilustrado de Términos Médicos.. Alvaro Galiano. 2010. idea Cualquier pensamiento, concepto …   Diccionario médico

  • idea — idea, no tener idea expr. no saber. ❙ «No tengo ni la menor idea.» Jesús Ferrero, Lady Pepa. 2. ► puta, ► no tener ni puta idea. 3. ► zorra, ► no tener ni zorra (idea). 4. tener mala idea expr. mala intención. ❙ «...se llevaron el tesoro… …   Diccionario del Argot "El Sohez"

  • idea — (n.) late 14c., archetype of a thing in the mind of God; Platonic idea, from L. idea idea, and in Platonic philosophy archetype, from Gk. idea ideal prototype, lit. the look of a thing (as opposed to the reality); form; kind, sort, nature, from… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Idea — Студийный альбом Bee Gees Дата выпуска Сентябрь 1968 Записан IBC Studios, 8 января 12 июля 1968 Жанры …   Википедия

  • idea — idea,   Abkürzung für Informationsdienst der Evangelischen Allianz, evangelische Nachrichtenagentur, die sich in ihrem theologisch publizistischen Selbstverständnis einem biblischen Standort verpflichtet weiß; gegründet 1970; Sitz der… …   Universal-Lexikon


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