noun per·cep·tion \pər-ˈsep-shən\

Definition of perception

  1. 1a :  a result of perceiving :  observationb :  a mental image :  concept

  2. 2 obsolete :  consciousness

  3. 3a :  awareness of the elements of environment through physical sensation color perceptionb :  physical sensation interpreted in the light of experience

  4. 4a :  quick, acute, and intuitive cognition :  appreciationb :  a capacity for comprehension


play \pər-ˈsep-shnəl, -shə-nəl\ adjective

Examples of perception in a Sentence

  1. 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

  2. Some drugs cause blurred vision and changes in color perception, or increased tears. —Sallie Tisdale, Harper's, June 2007

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. a writer of considerable perception, she remembers how it feels to be confused and insecure

  6. a growing perception of the enormity of the problem

Recent Examples of perception from the Web

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Origin and Etymology of perception

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

Synonym Discussion of 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

PERCEPTION Defined for English Language Learners



Definition of perception for English Language Learners

  • : the way you think about or understand someone or something

  • : the ability to understand or notice something easily

  • : the way that you notice or understand something using one of your senses

PERCEPTION Defined for Kids


noun per·cep·tion \pər-ˈsep-shən\

Definition of perception for Students

  1. 1 :  a judgment resulting from awareness or understanding Visiting the beautiful park changed her perception of the city.

  2. 2 :  the ability to understand (as meanings and ideas) He's a child of remarkable perception.

  3. 3 :  understanding or awareness gained through the use of the senses depth perception

Medical Dictionary


noun per·cep·tion \pər-ˈsep-shən\

Medical Definition of perception

  1. :  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 patients—Orthopedics & Traumatic Surgery—compare sensation 1a

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lethargy or dullness

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