10 Words That Include the Element “-Cept”

By Mark Nichol

Words in which the element -cept appears have one thing in common: They have something to do with taking, literally or figuratively. Here are ten such words in noun form and their definitions, as well as common terms — nouns, verbs, and adjectives — based on them, along with meanings for the additional terms.

1. Acceptance: the act or state of agreeing or approving (related words are accept, meaning “to hold or take,” and acceptable, meaning “satisfactory”)

2. Conception: the process of producing an idea or thought or a new life, or the act of beginning, forming, or originating (related words are conceive, meaning “to bring into being,” concept, meaning “idea,” conceptual, meaning “relating to ideas,” conceptualize, meaning “to produce an idea,” misconception, meaning “misunderstanding,” and preconception, meaning “a prejudice or premature opinion”)

3. Deception: the act or an instance of being tricked (related words are deceit, synonymous with deception but also meaning “the quality of being tricky” — the latter meaning is also applicable to deceitfulnessdeceitful, meaning “tricky,” deceive, meaning “to trick,” and deceptive, meaning “misleading”)

4. Exception: exclusion, or something that is excluded, or an objection (related words are exceptional, meaning “rare,” “superior,” or “not within the norm,” exceptionalism, meaning “an attitude or situation of superiority,” and exceptionable, meaning “objectionable”)

5. Inception: the beginning or commencement of something

6. Interception: interference that results in the taking of something intended for someone else (a related word is intercept, “to interrupt, to gain possession”)

7. Perception: appreciation or observation, or the ability to comprehend or sense (related words are perceive, meaning “to understand or become aware,” perceptiveness and perceptivity, meaning “the quality of being able to become aware,” and imperceptible, meaning “unable to be seen or understood,” as well as apperception, meaning “self-consciousness” or “perception” and especially referring to understanding based on previous experience

8. Precept: a command, order, or principle (a related word is preceptor, meaning “principal” or “teacher”)

9. Reception: acquisition or admission, whether what is received is intangible, like attention or a response, or an object; reception also denotes an event at which someone is given attention (related words are receive, meaning “to acquire, to accept from,” receptive, meaning “amenable to acquiring or accepting,” receptionist, meaning “someone who greets clients,” and recipient, meaning “one who acquires,” as well as receptacle, meaning “a container for acquiring or placing”)

10. Susceptibility: ability to submit to, or lack of resistance to, something, or responsivity or impressionability (a related word is susceptible)

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2 Responses to “10 Words That Include the Element “-Cept””

  • thebluebird11

    Well now that you mention it, I do see the connection between all these words. Never thought about it! We take so much of our language for granted, I think.
    I remember in high school (God bless Mrs. Bar-Chama!), we had these vocabulary books that just took 20 random words every week or whatever. We had to define them, use them in sentences, get quizzed on them. There was no connection between them. I mean yes it expanded my vocabulary, but maybe it would have been more intelligent to group words by root or concept, as you do here in your posts. Just a thought.

  • Robert

    -cept from verb capere (past participle ceptus) meaning to take, seize, capture

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