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mis·con·ceive / ˌmiskənˈsēv/ • v. [tr.] fail to understand correctly: she was frustrated by professors who consistently misconceived her essays. ∎  (usu. be misconceived) judge or plan badly, typically on the basis of faulty understanding: criticism of the trade surplus in Washington is misconceived | [as adj.] (misconceived) misconceived notions about gypsies. DERIVATIVES: mis·con·ceiv·er n.