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 perception (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 In baseball these days, it’s all about perception and percentage. New York Times, "A Ballpark Half Full and Another Half Empty for All 30 Teams," 29 Mar. 2021 Those are numbers, but what about the perception generated by them? Gordon Monson, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Gordon Monson: Did Dennis Lindsey lie? Did Elijah Millsap? Here’s the key thing to take away from their dispute.," 18 Mar. 2021 But this despair, per Gristwood, is more about perception than love of family. Elizabeth Logan, Glamour, "Here’s How Prince William Reportedly Feels About Meghan and Harry’s Oprah Interview," 9 Mar. 2021 Asked about the perception of Coates's role in creating a process that first benefited Australia, Bach said his colleague was not involved in the board's debate Wednesday. Graham Dunbar, ajc, "Australian bid put on IOC fast track to host 2032 Olympics," 24 Feb. 2021 Asked about the perception of Coates's role in creating a process that first benefited Australia, Bach said his colleague was not involved in the board's debate Wednesday. Graham Dunbar, Star Tribune, "Australian bid put on IOC fast track to host 2032 Olympics," 24 Feb. 2021 Emails and statements from Lightfoot — who ran on a promise to reform the Police Department — portray her as plugged in to the response and concerned about the public perception of the department as trouble unfolded. Gregory Pratt, chicagotribune.com, "Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she has ‘1,000% confidence’ in Chicago police Superintendent David Brown after scathing watchdog report on George Floyd protests," 19 Feb. 2021 This approach reframes how neuroscientists typically try to answer questions about color perception. Sara Harrison, Wired, "A New Study About Color Tries to Decode ‘The Brain’s Pantone’," 24 Nov. 2020 Bay Area public health experts are very concerned about public perception and containment efforts. Chronicle Staff, SFChronicle.com, "Coronavirus news from the Bay Area: Oct. 2-8," 16 Oct. 2020

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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Learn More about perception

Time Traveler for perception

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for perception

Last Updated

7 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Perception.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/perception. Accessed 17 Apr. 2021.

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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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Comments on perception

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