From the Latin conceptus, the term concept refers to the idea that forms the understanding. It is a thought that is expressed in words: “I am not clear about the concept of civil liability”, “My concept of friendship is very different from yours. “
A concept is, therefore, a cognitive unit of meaning. It is born as an abstract idea (it is a mental construction) that allows us to understand the experiences arising from the interaction with the environment and that, finally, is verbalized (put into words).
It is important to bear in mind that the notion of concept always appears linked to the context. The conceptualization develops with the interaction between the senses, language and cultural factors. Knowing something through experience and transforming that knowledge into a concept is possible due to the references that are made about a thing or a situation that is unique and unrepeatable.
The individual, on the other hand, is indicated with a proper name, not with a concept. The rock is a concept (an idea that involves notions of style, rhythm, poetry, etc.), whereas The Beatles or The Rolling Stones are rock bands (who helped build the concept).
All of the above leads to the fact that many people tend to confuse two terms on many occasions: concept and definition. However, they are not synonymous.
The key to understanding the differences between the two is that the aforementioned definition is the universal and precise description of an idea, an expression or a branch of knowledge. Meanwhile, the concept can determine what is the opinion that a person has about a specific aspect. That is, the concept is much less precise and more particular.
In this way, as examples we can use the following. In the case of the definition, the following phrase would serve: “Medicine is the scientific branch that is responsible for studying both life and death and human diseases.” For its part, the concept example would be: “There are many concepts about the application of Medicine in the field of personality problems.”
It is important to underline in addition to all the above that formerly the term concept was used as a synonym of a term with which now it has nothing to do. Specifically, time before the concept was also used to refer to a fetus.
According to DigoPaul, concept is, on the other hand, the credit that you have to someone or something. In this sense, the word is associated with a judgment or an opinion (it is a clearly subjective concept): “The teacher does not have a good concept of me”, “I think Roberto will have to do a lot to improve the concept of boss ”.
Likewise, it should not be overlooked that there is an expression that makes use of the term at hand. We are referring to the adverbial phrase “form a concept” which is used to establish that a specific person is carrying out an opinion or an idea on a matter in his mind after having taken into account all the circumstances that affect it.