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

Other research has found that the ability to perceive faces keeps improving until around age 20. Quanta Magazine, "Computers and Humans ‘See’ Differently. Does It Matter?," 17 Sep. 2019 The storms are far too big for humans to perceive from the ground. Tristram Korten, Smithsonian, "The Bahamas and the Caribbean Have Withstood Hurricanes for Centuries," 17 Sep. 2019 Biden's strong suit continues to be perceived electability. CBS News, "Elizabeth Warren rises as Joe Biden clings to delegate edge — CBS News Battleground Tracker," 9 Sep. 2019 And, Murawski adds, some of the issues that museums have been working on, such as human rights and climate justice, have during the same time come to be perceived as more partisan and political. Suyin Haynes, Time, "Why a Plan to Redefine the Meaning of 'Museum' Is Stirring Up Controversy," 9 Sep. 2019 Sankai Juku: Butoh, the severe Japanese dance form that emerged out of the devastation of World War II, can offer startling new ways to perceive time, nature and the human body. Andrew Gilbert, The Mercury News, "Fall dance 2019: Legendary works on tap in Bay Area," 6 Sep. 2019 With subsequent productions and a first-rate film in 1983 — featuring Jeremy Irons, Ben Kingsley and Patricia Hodge — earlier naysayers began to perceive a creeping depth and delicacy in the work, which for me now ranks among Pinter’s finest. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Review: Tom Hiddleston in a Love Triangle Undone by ‘Betrayal’," 5 Sep. 2019 Though most people only a few decades ago believed that social and economic inequalities were unfair, the transformation in the manner in which power and domination have come to be perceived means that this is no longer the case. Ajay Gudavarthy, Quartz India, "Neoliberalism is killing the very idea of citizenship in India," 2 Sep. 2019 But that movement may have triggered a nearby mountain lion to perceive the boy as prey, and the animal attacked, officials said. Robert Garrison, The Denver Post, "Bailey boy attacked by mountain lion released from the hospital," 27 Aug. 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 entry 1

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Statistics for perceive

Last Updated

3 Oct 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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