aper·​çu ˌa-pər-ˈsü How to pronounce aperçu (audio)
plural aperçus ˌa-pər-ˈsüz How to pronounce aperçu (audio)
: a brief survey or sketch : outline
: an immediate impression
especially : insight sense 2

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In French, aperçu is the past participle of the verb apercevoir ("to perceive" or "to comprehend"), which in turn comes from Latin percipere ("to perceive"). (The same verb also gave us apperceive, meaning "to have consciousness of oneself, and the noun apperception, meaning "introspective self-consciousness or "mental perception.") Aperçu in French is also a noun meaning "glimpse" or "outline, general idea." English speakers borrowed the noun aperçu, meaning and all, in the early 19th century.

Word History


French, from aperçu, past participle of apercevoir to perceive, from Old French aperceivre, from a- (from Latin ad-) + perceivre to perceive — more at perceive

First Known Use

1809, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of aperçu was in 1809


Dictionary Entries Near aperçu

Cite this Entry

“Aperçu.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/aper%C3%A7u. Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

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