extended rhetorical device

Conceit can mean an over-high esteem of oneself, something conceived (especially, a novel or fanciful idea), or, in literature and poetry, a device of analogy consisting of an extended metaphor.


  • Nature in her whole drama never drew such a part; she has sometimes made a fool, but a coxcomb is always of a man's own making…
  • Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? There is more hope of a fool than of him.
  • Conceit is the most contemptible and one of the most odious qualities in the world. It is vanity driven from all other shifts, and forced to appeal to itself for admiration.
    • William Hazlitt, Characteristics, in the manner of Rochefoucauld's Maxims (1823) No. 110.
  • Conceit is to nature what paint is to beauty; it is not only needless, but impairs what it would improve.
  • We go and fancy that everybody is thinking of us. But he is not: he is like us; he is thinking of himself.
  • Remember, I have not appointed you as commanders and tyrants over the people. I have sent you as leaders instead, so that the people may follow your example. Give the Muslims their rights and do not beat them lest they become abused. Do not praise them unduly, lest they fall into the error of conceit. Do not keep your doors shut in their faces, lest the more powerful of them eat up the weaker ones. And do not behave as if you were superior to them, for that is tyranny over them.
    • Umar as quoted in Omar the Great : The Second Caliph Of Islam (1962) by Muhammad Shibli Numani, Vol. 2, p. 33

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 128.
  • I've never any pity for conceited people, because I think they carry their comfort about with them.
    • George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss (1860), Book V, Chapter IV.
  • For what are they all in their high conceit,
    When man in the bush with God may meet?
  • The world knows only two, that's Rome and I.
  • In men this blunder still you find,
    All think their little set mankind.
  • Wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can tender a reason.
    • Proverbs, XXVI, 16.
  • Conceit may puff a man up, but never prop him up.
    • John Ruskin, True and Beautiful, Morals and Religion, Function of the Artist.
  • Conceit, more rich in matter than in words,
    Brags of his substance, not of ornament:
    They are but beggars that can count their worth.
  • Whoe'er imagines prudence all his own,
    Or deems that he hath powers to speak and judge
    Such as none other hath, when they are known,
    They are found shallow.
  • Faith, that's as well said as if I had said it myself.
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