mis·​per·​ceive ˌmis-pər-ˈsēv How to pronounce misperceive (audio)
misperceived; misperceiving

transitive verb

: to perceive (something) wrongly or improperly
… until recently, experts have paid the placebo effect only grudging respect, some insisting that people who experience it must have simply misperceived either their illness or their recovery.Ted Kaptchuk et al.

Examples of misperceive in a Sentence

humor-challenged members of the audience misperceived the speaker's harmless joke as an insult to their organization
Recent Examples on the Web According to the researchers, these misperceptions may stop people from speaking up about their concerns and cause policymakers to misperceive how much their constituents care. Laura Schulte, Journal Sentinel, 28 Apr. 2023 Russian pilots could misperceive the escorts as offensive NATO warplanes and engage them, precipitating a disaster with unknown consequences. Rebeccah Heinrichs, National Review, 24 Feb. 2022 In this state, the concept extends to dog bites – even if the owner did not intend that Rover would bite anyone and did not anticipate that the dog might misperceive the victim’s intent or might remember the victim was hostile to him in the past. Donna Engle, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, 8 May 2021 Americans often misperceive historical inequities as personal failures. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, 3 Aug. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'misperceive.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1921, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of misperceive was in 1921

Dictionary Entries Near misperceive

Cite this Entry

“Misperceive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/misperceive. Accessed 24 Jun. 2024.

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