perception

noun
per·​cep·​tion | \ pər-ˈsep-shən How to pronounce perception (audio) \

Definition of perception

1a : a result of perceiving : observation
b : a mental image : concept
2 obsolete : consciousness
3a : awareness of the elements of environment through physical sensation color perception
b : physical sensation interpreted in the light of experience
4a : quick, acute, and intuitive cognition : appreciation
b : a capacity for comprehension

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Other Words from perception

perceptional \ pər-​ˈsep-​shnəl How to pronounce perceptional (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for perception

discernment, discrimination, perception, penetration, insight, acumen mean a power to see what is not evident to the average mind. discernment stresses accuracy (as in reading character or motives or appreciating art). the discernment to know true friends discrimination stresses the power to distinguish and select what is true or appropriate or excellent. the discrimination that develops through listening to a lot of great music perception implies quick and often sympathetic discernment (as of shades of feeling). a novelist of keen perception into human motives penetration implies a searching mind that goes beyond what is obvious or superficial. lacks the penetration to see the scorn beneath their friendly smiles insight suggests depth of discernment coupled with understanding sympathy. a documentary providing insight into the plight of the homeless acumen implies characteristic penetration combined with keen practical judgment. a director of reliable box-office acumen

Examples of perception in a Sentence

It is ironic that the impact of smoking on nonsmokers, rather than on smokers themselves, is what finally transformed the regulation and cultural perception of the cigarette. — Allan M. Brandt, The Cigarette Century, 2007 Some drugs cause blurred vision and changes in color perception, or increased tears. — Sallie Tisdale, Harper's, June 2007 The urge of these acolytes is not dramatic but mercantile—to traduce all personal history, to subvert all perception or insight, into gain, or the hope of gain. — David Mamet, Jafsie and John Henry Essays, 1999 Everything is research for the sake of erudition. No one is taught to value himself for nice perception and cultivated taste. — Robert Frost, letter, 2 Jan. 1915 a writer of considerable perception, she remembers how it feels to be confused and insecure a growing perception of the enormity of the problem
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Recent Examples on the Web

The sport may be having trouble holding on to North American fans because of a perception the games take too long. Phil Rosenthal, chicagotribune.com, "Column: When the Cubs and Cardinals play in London next year, leave the U.S. announcers at home," 1 July 2019 There’s a perception that someone turning wrenches is going to speak more honestly than someone sitting in a corner office. Erik Sherman, Fortune, "Coming Off Paris Air Show High, Here's What Boeing Must Do to Get the 737 MAX (and Its Business) Back in the Air," 28 June 2019 There’s a public perception that the things that go into those blue bins all come out as usable products for us. Sylvia Gurinsky, sun-sentinel.com, "Recycling needs to be reshaped | Opinion," 26 June 2019 The problem most likely lies not with Keanu’s gifts as a performer but with a general perception of what good acting is. Time, "Why It Took Keanu Reeves 30 Years to Become an Overnight Sensation," 21 June 2019 But loans for manufactured-home buyers often have higher interest rates than traditional mortgages because of a perception of higher risk. Nicole Friedman, WSJ, "Fannie and Freddie’s Latest Push: Factory-Built Homes," 20 June 2019 When disappointing economic outcomes are combined with a widespread perception that these outcomes were prearranged to favor a tiny élite, candidates who offer an alternative gain in popularity. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, "Why Socialism Is Back," 18 June 2019 Alter said there's a perception diseases like measles and chickenpox aren't dangerous, but he's seen patients die from such illnesses. Jackie Borchardt, Cincinnati.com, "Not vaccinated? A new Ohio bill could prevent you from being fired for refusing immunizations," 14 June 2019 With that breathability, there’s the perception that the Summit L5 LT wouldn’t stave off rain and moisture as well as other waterproof-breathable offerings like Gore-Tex over hours of continuous rain. Frederick Reimers, Outside Online, "On the Slopes in the North Face Futurelight Shell," 10 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'perception.' 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 perception

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for perception

Latin perception-, perceptio act of perceiving, from percipere — see perceive

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Statistics for perception

Last Updated

6 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for perception

The first known use of perception was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for perception

perception

noun

English Language Learners Definition of perception

: the way you think about or understand someone or something
somewhat formal : the ability to understand or notice something easily
somewhat formal : the way that you notice or understand something using one of your senses

perception

noun
per·​cep·​tion | \ pər-ˈsep-shən How to pronounce perception (audio) \

Kids Definition of perception

1 : a judgment resulting from awareness or understanding Visiting the beautiful park changed her perception of the city.
2 : the ability to understand (as meanings and ideas) He's a child of remarkable perception.
3 : understanding or awareness gained through the use of the senses depth perception

perception

noun
per·​cep·​tion | \ pər-ˈsep-shən How to pronounce perception (audio) \

Medical Definition of perception

: awareness of the elements of environment through physical sensation color perception some sensation of perception of the extremity after amputation is felt by 98% of patientsOrthopedics & Traumatic Surgery — compare sensation sense 1a

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