perceive

verb
per·​ceive | \ pər-ˈsēv How to pronounce perceive (audio) \
perceived; perceiving; perceives

Definition of perceive

transitive verb

1a : to attain awareness or understanding of
b : to regard as being such was perceived as a loser
2 : to become aware of through the senses especially : see, observe

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Other Words from perceive

perceivable \ pər-​ˈsē-​və-​bəl How to pronounce perceivable (audio) \ adjective
perceivably \ pər-​ˈsē-​və-​blē How to pronounce perceivably (audio) \ adverb
perceiver noun

Synonyms for perceive

Synonyms

feel, scent, see, sense, smell, taste

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Examples of perceive in a Sentence

We perceive by means of the kaleidoscopic mirror of this life. This means that our ability to perceive is at once tyrannized by our expectations, and at war with them. — James Baldwin, The Evidence of Things Not Seen, 1985 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 … 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 I thought I perceived a problem, but I wasn't sure. perceived that it was going to be a nice day
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Recent Examples on the Web

Born out of a lack of understanding of my identity and how the world may perceive me and my family, this question brings victimization to a whole new level. Ahmad Ibsais, Teen Vogue, "New Zealand's Mass Shooting is an Expression of the Violence Muslims Face Around the World," 15 Mar. 2019 There's also some scientific research indicating that due to the short wavelengths of cooler colors and how our cones perceive them, greens and blues are the most relaxing to our eyes. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "14 Calming Paint Colors That Will Change the Way You Live," 9 Jan. 2019 Men don’t perceive listening as something that somebody actively does. Anna North, Vox, "Women made historic gains in 2018. But in so many ways, it was still the Year of the Man.," 27 Dec. 2018 Gifts that reflect practicality, not just perceived status. Elizabeth Bernstein, WSJ, "You Got Them Exactly the Wrong Thing, Didn’t You?," 22 Dec. 2018 Women likely don’t perceive a hip fracture to be serious the same way cancer is, but sadly, that’s a misconception. Andreas Arauer, USA TODAY, "Why aren’t we talking about osteoporosis?," 30 May 2018 Following this, dehumanizing propaganda alters norms of what is and isn’t perceived as acceptable views or behavior. Aliza Luft, Washington Post, "How dangerous is it when Trump calls some immigrants ‘animals’?," 25 May 2018 As Megan Garber summarized in the Atlantic, scientific research has shown that humans perceive a deeper voice to indicate trustworthiness, attractiveness, competency, and strength in both men and women. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Is Elizabeth Holmes's Deep Voice Just Another Part of Her Scam?," 18 Mar. 2019 Becoming a soldier in the Revolution allowed these women a chance to break away from perceived gender roles and make their own money. Teen Vogue, "The Real History of Las Soldaderas, the Women Who Made the Mexican Revolution Possible," 12 Mar. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'perceive.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of perceive

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for perceive

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

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Statistics for perceive

Last Updated

18 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for perceive

The first known use of perceive was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for perceive

perceive

verb

English Language Learners Definition of perceive

formal : to notice or become aware of (something)
: to think of (someone or something) as being something stated

perceive

verb
per·​ceive | \ pər-ˈsēv How to pronounce perceive (audio) \
perceived; perceiving

Kids Definition of perceive

1 : to become aware of through the senses and especially through sight Perceiving the intruders in their nest the birds flew down upon them …— L. Frank Baum, The Marvelous Land of Oz
2 : to recognize or realize I perceived a change in her attitude.
3 : to think of as The message was perceived as a threat.

perceive

transitive verb
per·​ceive | \ pər-ˈsēv How to pronounce perceive (audio) \
perceived; perceiving

Medical Definition of perceive

: to become aware of through the senses

Other Words from perceive

perceivable \ -​ˈsē-​və-​bəl How to pronounce perceivable (audio) \ adjective
perceivably \ -​blē How to pronounce perceivably (audio) \ adverb
perceiver noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on perceive

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with perceive

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for perceive

Spanish Central: Translation of perceive

Nglish: Translation of perceive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of perceive for Arabic Speakers

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