perception

noun per·cep·tion \ pər-ˈsep-shən \
Updated on: 10 Dec 2017

Definition of perception

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

perceptional

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. BrandtThe Cigarette Century2007
  2. Some drugs cause blurred vision and changes in color perception, or increased tears. —Sallie TisdaleHarper'sJune 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 MametJafsie and John Henry Essays1999
  4. Everything is research for the sake of erudition. No one is taught to value himself for nice perception and cultivated taste. —Robert Frostletter2 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

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.

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

perception

noun

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

perception

noun per·cep·tion \ pər-ˈsep-shən \

Definition of perception for Students

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

Medical Dictionary

perception

noun per·cep·tion \ pər-ˈsep-shən \

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 patients
  • Orthopedics & Traumatic Surgery
— compare sensation 1a


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