perceive

verb

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

transitive verb

1
a
: 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
perceivable adjective
perceivably adverb
perceiver noun

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
Recent Examples on the Web At the core, loyalty and advocacy are rooted in how useful and enjoyable customers perceive a company’s services or products. Dan Kahn, Forbes, 16 Feb. 2024 While some perceive the filmmaker as introverted, Downey has been regularly bringing out a side of the director that is playful – even downright giggly at times. Jenelle Riley, Variety, 16 Feb. 2024 But a player’s likability can affect how others perceive these inconveniences, and Ohtani is said to be extremely likable. Dylan Hernández, Los Angeles Times, 15 Feb. 2024 Whether one perceives Valentine's Day as materialistic depends on personal beliefs and values. Maeghan Dolph, Fox News, 14 Feb. 2024 Analysis of question responses showed that the moving robot also caused people to perceive it as emotive and intelligent, and caused more feelings of guilt when it was consumed. IEEE Spectrum, 13 Feb. 2024 Most importantly, Clark, along with her teammates and coaches, has changed how girls and women’s sports are played, and perceived, forever. Susan Koch, The Mercury News, 13 Feb. 2024 There’s a dehumanization of the people who are perceived to be on the other side. Liz Appel, Vogue, 13 Feb. 2024 Mideast countries housing American attack aircraft are increasingly reluctant to have their bases used for offensive strikes in Iraq, Syria and Yemen to avoid being perceived as supporting Israel. Julian E. Barnes, New York Times, 2 Feb. 2024 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Middle English, from Anglo-French perceivre, from Latin percipere, from per- thoroughly + capere to take — more at heave entry 1

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near perceive

Cite this Entry

“Perceive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/perceive. Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

perceive

verb
per·​ceive pər-ˈsēv How to pronounce perceive (audio)
perceived; perceiving
1
2
: to become aware of through the senses and especially through sight
perceiver noun

Medical Definition

perceive

transitive verb
per·​ceive pər-ˈsēv How to pronounce perceive (audio)
perceived; perceiving
: to become aware of through the senses
perceivable adjective
perceivably adverb
perceiver noun

More from Merriam-Webster on perceive

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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