perceive

verb
per·​ceive | \pər-ˈsēv \
perceived; perceiving

Definition of perceive 

transitive verb

1a : to attain awareness or understanding of

b : to regard as being such perceived threats 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 \ adjective
perceivably \pər-​ˈsē-​və-​blē \ 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

During oral argument on a challenge to state election maps drawn for partisan advantage, Roberts fretted about how judicial policing could be perceived. Richard Wolf, USA TODAY, "Chief Justice John Roberts inherits expanded role as the Supreme Court's man in the middle," 29 June 2018 So while it may be perceived as childish or immature (and annoy everyone else in line at the coffee shop), baby talk is actually the mark of a healthy and strong partnership. NBC News, "Baby talk: It may be annoying, but it's a sign of a strong relationship," 10 June 2018 That puts a premium on firms whose earnings are perceived to be likely to hold up better as the economy slows. Akane Otani, WSJ, "Why the Corporate Earnings Boom Has Failed to Lift Investors’ Spirits," 18 Nov. 2018 And at least for a small sample of users in San Francisco (right now there are only 250 bikes allowed in the city), the answer was yes—especially during daytime, when congestion was perceived to be higher on city streets. Alissa Walker, Curbed, "Scooters and e-bikes begin to replace car trips," 24 July 2018 Since 2017, California has forbidden state employees from traveling to states with laws that California leaders perceive to be discriminatory against gay and transgender people. Adam Ashton, sacbee, "California bans state workers from traveling to yet another state," 1 June 2018 With the help of stuntmen and extras, Falz walks us step by step through Nigeria's major problems, central to this is what many perceive to be inefficient leadership by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari. Joey Akan, CNN, "From Chibok Girls to Yahoo Boys, 'This is Nigeria' video is a mirror for the country," 28 May 2018 The two companies will together work on the sensors these vehicles use to perceive the world, and the software that makes the actual driving decisions. Jack Stewart, WIRED, "Mercedes Will Launch Self-Driving Taxis in California Next Year," 10 July 2018 Racial minorities, women and young people who have missed out on the full bounty of American greatness also tend to perceive fewer benefits from democracy and are thus less convinced of the system’s value. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: A poll commissioned by Bush and Biden shows Americans losing confidence in democracy," 26 June 2018

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

12 Dec 2018

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

: to notice or become aware of (something)

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

perceive

verb
per·​ceive | \pər-ˈsēv \
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 \
perceived; perceiving

Medical Definition of perceive 

: to become aware of through the senses

Other Words from perceive

perceivable \-​ˈsē-​və-​bəl \ adjective
perceivably \-​blē \ 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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