Difference Between Idea and Concept

Idea and concept are often confused due to similarity in their denotations. One when the spark is initiated is called an idea and another where the procedure is built afterwards to prove the idea is called a concept. Idea and concept, both the terms take you to the same place but one is a start and another is a destination. An idea is a vague thinking but a concept needs deep thoughts and facts. An idea is different from the concept in thinking and application respectively.

Idea vs Concept

The main difference between idea and concept is that an idea is an individual brain’s effort whereas a concept is a concluded procedure of reaching the results from the idea. The concept is an interpretation of terms and the idea is smart a thought of mind. Both the terms are quite similar but minute differences make them different.

Idea vs Concept

The idea is an instant thought which can solve a problem. When you are facing some issue in a particular situation, your mind functions in a way to find the best possible solution that helps you to get through the difficulties easily. This solution is called an idea. The idea can also be called a perception when a person says,’ I had an idea that Rohan was married.’ where he didn’t know that Rohan was unmarried.

Concept is a procedure where a person transforms his idea into application with the help of other individuals. Concept can also be called as a explanation of the combined ideas of a common interest of the group of individuals. It is a theory-based idea that requires carefully thought out or arrangement of facts leading to something that can be subjected to further consideration or investigation. When the idea is researched and described, it is called as a concept. Concept is a final form of an idea.

Comparison Table between Idea and Concept

Parameters of ComparisonIdeaConcept
DefinitionThe instant thought of mind in a particular situation to solve a problem is called an idea.A procedure used to describe the idea is called a concept.
Individuals neededsingle individual thoughtcan involve group of individuals
NatureNot abstractAbstract
Example‘I have an idea of living in Mountains.’‘Social Conditioning Theory’

What is Idea?

An idea is a mental impression that comes when a person wants to come to some conclusion instantly. The first thought which may or may not solve a problem but is the way forward in a difficulty is called an idea. Ideas bring out the best from a person’s mind. When a person observes the outside world, he may find some interesting ideas to help himself or the world which when executed could be helpful. Sometimes the word ‘idea’ is also used to describe a situation.

For example, ‘I have an idea, let’s order a hamburger.’ The idea of having a hamburger is instant and doesn’t require deep thought but it can still solve a problem of hunger. The person may or may not like the hamburger but it was the mental effort to fulfill the need of the moment.

The idea is based on vague thinking and cognitive phenomena, often a sudden response but could also be a thoughtful response.
An idea needs rough thinking and requires a mental effort. An idea doesn’t always work in a manner we always want but when it works, it gives immense satisfaction. An idea is not abstract. It doesn’t explain the effort done to complete the process afterward.

It is just the initial spark. The idea is someone’s truth but has no proof. It is an inspiration that comes into an individual’s subconscious mind through interaction with the surroundings.

What is Concept?

A concept is a procedure done to execute the idea. It is more or less a final form of an idea that has gone through a lot of changes for refinement. It often involves a group of individuals who pick up their ideas together and work to make it one concept being productive. When the concept is built, one can see the starting point, development, and ending point. It can also be called a strategy which leads to an outcome. Concepts are more tightly defined or focused on something less defined.

One needs an idea that eventually turns into a concept. One can say ‘ let’s bake a pizza.’ This is an idea and the recipe followed afterward is a concept. The flour, salt, yeast etc. needed to bake a pizza requires thoughtful analysis and this is called a concept which was initiated by an idea. It is a process which man experiences with time.

It depends upon understanding and observing thoughts and proving them to be true. It is used to explain a thought or an idea. It is right to say that an idea generates a concept. It is a calculative and experimental interpretation of an idea. For example, ‘ Water has no color.’ is a concept and is true for everyone. A concept is a building with the ideas being the building blocks.

Main Differences between Idea and Concept

  1. An idea initiates a spark needed for generation of a concept. A concept is the outcome of an idea.
  2. An idea is not abstract in nature whereas a concept is an abstract notion.
  3. An idea is an individual’s mental effort whereas a concept is placed by a group of individuals 
  4. An idea doesn’t require an explanation but a concept is well thought with  explanation.
  5. An idea comes after a situation and observing the surroundings whereas a concept comes after an idea.
  6. An idea is a free thought of a person whereas a concept is tightly defined and focused.
  7. An idea is less notional whereas a concept is associated with scholastic  terms like growth, mindset etc.
  8. An idea is more impulsive than a concept.


Both the terms, idea, and concept are quite similar but their meanings are different. A concept is the result of an idea. A concept is an idea that has been given careful thought, explanation, and experimentation. The main aim of an idea is to create a concept. The concept could be called an idea explained with facts that are proved true. Idea and concept both are similar in many ways but with a single keen difference and that is a process that is seen by a concept. Idea ends after the starting point but the concept stays till the endpoint leading to theory. Idea and concept go hand in hand because without an idea, a concept can’t be born and without a concept, an idea can’t be executed.


  1. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.4324/9781003070733-4/meaning-concept-philosophy-islam-seyyed-hossein-nasr
  2. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-94-009-4364-3_4

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