Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

perceive

play
verb per·ceive \pər-ˈsēv\

Simple Definition of perceive

  • : to notice or become aware of (something)

  • : to think of (someone or something) as being something stated

Full Definition of perceive

per·ceivedper·ceiv·ing

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to attain awareness or understanding of b :  to regard as being such <perceived threats> <was perceived as a loser>

  3. 2 :  to become aware of through the senses; especially :  see, observe

per·ceiv·able play \-ˈsē-və-bəl\ adjective
per·ceiv·ably play \-blē\ adverb
per·ceiv·er noun

Examples of perceive

  1. We perceive by means of the kaleidoscopic mirror of this life. This means that our ability to perceive is at one tyrannized by our expectations, and at war with them. —James Baldwin, The Evidence of Things Not Seen, 1985

  2. Standing in the hallway just out of sight during this interview was Sarah. She held her baby on her hip and she listened. She perceived as no one in the family could the enormity of the misfortune. —E. L. Doctorow, Ragtime, 1974

  3. … and when they perceived her to be little struck with the duet they were so good as to play, they could do no more than make her a generous present of some of their least valued toys, and leave her to herself, while they adjourned to whatever might be the favourite holiday sport of the moment, making artificial flowers or wasting gold paper. —Jane Austen, Mansfield Park, 1814

  4. <I thought I perceived a problem, but I wasn't sure.>

  5. <perceived that it was going to be a nice day>



Origin of perceive

Middle English, from Anglo-French perceivre, from Latin percipere, from per- thoroughly + capere to take — more at heave


First Known Use: 14th century


Medical Dictionary

perceive

play
transitive verb per·ceive \pər-ˈsēv\

Medical Definition of perceive

per·ceivedper·ceiv·ing

  1. :  to become aware of through the senses

  2. per·ceiv·able \-ˈsē-və-bəl\play adjective
    per·ceiv·ably \-blē\play adverb
    per·ceiv·er noun





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up perceive? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 14, 2016

to hug and kiss another person

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image33683556

How much does a batman (the Turkish unit of measurement) weigh?

196.5 pounds 2.2 pounds 16.96 pounds 100 pounds
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ