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

Readers can perceive the information through the position of the edges of the bands, as well as lightness versus darkness. Jessica Hullman, Scientific American, "How to Get Better at Embracing Unknowns," 3 Sep. 2019 Non-climbers perceived the sport as intimidating, expensive and inaccessible. Danika Worthington, The Know, "Climb for free at Denver-area gyms this weekend for Global Climbing Day," 19 Aug. 2019 While naming a hurricane, for example, might seem innocuous, studies show that hurricanes with traditionally feminine names are perceived as less serious than ones with male names, resulting in lower evacuation rates and higher death rates. Ashley Abramson, Allure, "Need Scientific Proof That Gender-Neutral Language Is Important? Here You Go," 7 Aug. 2019 In fact, 88 percent of Democrats and 71 percent of independents (as well as 45 percent of Republicans) perceive immigration to be a benefit to the state. James P. Sutton, National Review, "Why the GOP Has Declined in California," 1 Aug. 2019 This act was perceived as a provocation by members of a community whose entire village was once destroyed during colonial land grabs at the end of the 18th century. Holly Eva Ryan, Quartz Africa, "Anti-Chinese protests in a Gambian fishing village show conflict of foreign investment in Africa," 27 June 2019 When a stressor occurs, the amygdala region perceives the threat and sends a distress signal to the hypothalamus, which acts like a command center. Bridget Alex, Discover Magazine, "What Science Says About Why You're Stressed and How to Cope," 21 June 2019 Others perceive a political bias or tolerance of extremist content. CBS News, "Big Tech becomes big punching bag at House hearing on news business," 11 June 2019 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

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

17 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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