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It is both conceptual and applicable. There were two ways to look at it, the specific direct bonds that were broken and subtract the energy needed to form new specific bonds from it. Or you can look at all the energies that form bonds in a molecule and subtract all the energies that form bonds in the new molecule from it to give you the same answer for bond enthalpies.
The stronger the bonds the more energy is required to break the bonds apart. For instance, a triple bond would require more energy to break apart than a single bond and would therefore have a higher enthalpy value.
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