An elaborate metaphor, often strained or far-fetched, in which the subject is compared with a simpler analogue usually chosen from nature or a familiar context An excellent example of a conceit is Sir Thomas Wyatt's "My Galley," an adaptation of Petrarch's Sonnet 159 (See also Euphuism, Gongorism, Marinism, Melic Verse, Metaphysical)
- an extended metaphor, especially popular during the Renaissance and typical of John Donne or John Milton Unlike allegory, which tends to have one-to-one correspondences, a conceit typically takes one subject and explores the metaphoric possibilities in the qualities associated with that subject
An image or metaphor which strikes a parallel between two things/situations which are dissimilar eg the metaphysical conceit in Donne's "A Valediction: Forbidden Mourning" in which the souls of Donne and his lover are compared to the legs of a compass
a complicated intellectual metaphor Petrarchan conceits drew on conventional sensory imagery popularized by the Italian poet Petrarch (1304-74) Metaphysical conceits were characterized by esoteric, abstract associations and surprising effects John Donne and other so-called metaphysical poets used conceits in ways that fused the sensory and the abstract Examples are John Donne's use of the compass in "The Ecstasy" and of alchemy in "A Nocturnal upon St Lucy's Day "
A fanciful poetic image or metaphor that likens one thing to something else that is seemingly very different An example of a conceit can be found in Shakespeare's sonnet Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? and in Emily Dickinson's poem There is no frigate like a book
characteristic of false pride; having an exaggerated sense of self-importance; "a conceited fool"; "an attitude of self-conceited arrogance"; "an egotistical disregard of others"; "so swollen by victory that he was unfit for normal duty"; "growing ever more swollen-headed and arbitrary"; "vain about her clothes"
disapproval If you say that someone is conceited, you are showing your disapproval of the fact that they are far too proud of their abilities or achievements. I thought him conceited and arrogant = arrogant. someone who is conceited thinks they are very clever, skilful, beautiful etc - used to show disapproval
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