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

Seeing disorganized or poorly maintained facilities and equipment might cause a potential buyer to perceive that other aspects of the business may be similarly disorganized, like employee records, financial records, compliance records, etc. Tom Cooney And Crystal Faulkner, Cincinnati.com, "Businesswise: Pay attention to business value drivers before an exit looms," 10 June 2019 A decade later, black and non-black working-class people around the country could be seen donning an ensemble perceived by the white middle-class as gaudy, even offensive. Mariana Gonzalez, Teen Vogue, "How the Zoot Suit Became a Symbol of Resistance for Mexican-American People," 21 Sep. 2018 Men have a lot of power over the way boys perceive themselves. 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 Anyone who perceived it as anything else is missing the point. baltimoresun.com, "What they're saying about the new NFL national anthem policy," 24 May 2018 Amazon’s baby-registry sponsorships go a step further than search ads because they are inserted into what some users might perceive is a private space. Laura Stevens, WSJ, "New Parents Complain Amazon Baby-Registry Ads Are Deceptive," 28 Nov. 2018 Holmes and her colleagues have proposed an experiment involving two scenarios to test whether people might directly perceive a superposition of photons. Tim Folger, Discover Magazine, "How Quantum Mechanics Lets Us See, Smell and Touch," 24 Oct. 2018 In Raleigh, which is one of the finalists for Amazon's second headquarters, there's already some justifiable fretting about how the company might perceive the sabotage of the Durham-Orange project. The Observer Editorial Board, charlotteobserver, "A sentence in the proposed state budget could make all future light rail in Charlotte 'impossible'," 30 May 2018 Much of its appeal comes from the fact that the art world is widely perceived as a stuffy landscape filled with composed and aloof characters who can’t be bothered to interact with laymen folks like us. Candice Frederick, Harper's BAZAAR, "Netflix's Velvet Buzzsaw Shouldn't Work—But It (Mostly) Does," 3 Feb. 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

13 Jun 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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