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

As a result, our perception of their lives is based on an illusion. Samantha Boardman, Marie Claire, "You Aren't the Only One with Duck Syndrome," 30 Apr. 2019 Of course, men may not even fully realize the way bias impacts their field, or their own perceptions of women. Jenna Birch, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Secret Code to Success Most Women Don't Even Know Exists," 3 Apr. 2019 To boost its efforts, Audi is bringing on some new suppliers to help with these challenges of perception and prediction. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "Audi pulls the curtain back on its self-driving car program," 18 Dec. 2018 Some lawmakers and others, however, say the segregation fuels a perception that female recruits are less able and less qualified than men. Lolita C. Baldor, The Seattle Times, "USMC move to integrate boot camp more ends; future unclear," 30 Mar. 2019 There’s such a false perception about millennials and young women. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Karena Evans Is the Storyteller We Need Right Now," 23 Aug. 2018 Beyond that, the phenomenon of feeling gassier when lying down post-meal may be based in part on perception, Dr. Lee explains. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Does Lying Down After Eating Really Cause Gas?," 28 Mar. 2019 The story undoubtedly was an important factor in shaping voters’ perceptions before the 2018 midterm elections, in which Democrats won control of the House. Paul Farhi, The Seattle Times, "Analysis: Conclusion that there was no conspiracy opens media outlets to mockery," 24 Mar. 2019 Production in Asian countries continues to become more refined; however, the perceptions have not caught up yet. Alyssa Hardy, Teen Vogue, "An Interview With Handbag Designer Alfeya Valrina," 8 Mar. 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

11 May 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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