perceptive

adjective
per·​cep·​tive | \ pər-ˈsep-tiv How to pronounce perceptive (audio) \

Definition of perceptive

1 : responsive to sensory stimuli : discerning a perceptive eye
2a : capable of or exhibiting keen perception : observant a perceptive scholar
b : characterized by sympathetic understanding or insight

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Other Words from perceptive

perceptively adverb
perceptiveness noun
perceptivity \ (ˌ)pər-​ˌsep-​ˈti-​və-​tē How to pronounce perceptivity (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for perceptive

Synonyms

acute, delicate, fine, keen, quick, sensitive, sharp

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Examples of perceptive in a Sentence

He is a very perceptive young man. due to their ability to rotate their ears, cats are very perceptive when it comes to pinpointing the source of a sound

Recent Examples on the Web

Instead of producing the kind of playful and seemingly vaguely perceptive advice known to bring a smile to people’s faces, Reben’s technology turned dark – and undeniably weird. Peter Holley, The Seattle Times, "Roboticist trains AI to tell people their fortunes," 16 Oct. 2018 Nickolas Butler takes a closer look at that dynamic in his tender and perceptive... Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction: Faith and Family, Midwestern-Style," 1 Mar. 2019 Such a summary, however, does justice neither to the author nor to his people; out of such hackneyed materials Mr. Roth has written a perceptive, often witty and frequently moving piece of fiction. New York Times, "Notes From the Book Review Archives," 19 Jan. 2018 Poverty, a sexist and racist recording industry and a terrifyingly abusive relationship — with her husband and mentor Ike Turner (Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, a perceptive study in anger) — only make the show’s titanic heroine bigger and stronger. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Women Set London’s Stages Ablaze," 9 July 2018 While most of the Presley experts Mr. Jarecki confers with are men (an unfortunate lapse), this otherwise generous, perceptive director, more than anything, clearly yearns to fit not only Elvis but also the whole wide world into his sweet ride. Eugene Jarecki, New York Times, "Review: ‘The King’ Chases the American Dream and Elvis," 21 June 2018 Getty; design by Katja Cho You are currently bestowed with a kind of intelligence that is both deep and unusually perceptive. Chelsea Rickling, Marie Claire, "Taurus 2016 Horoscope: A Look at Your Year Ahead," 31 Dec. 2015 Not unlike Jane Austen, to whom her last novel paid homage, Sittenfeld offers a perceptive, light and tasty depiction of human scandal and embarrassment. Kathleen Rooney, chicagotribune.com, "'You Think It,' We'll Say It: Curtis Sittenfeld knows how to write a juicy tale," 7 May 2018 And unlike many writers of maddeningly intimate description (from Marcel Proust to Doris Lessing to Edward St. Aubyn), Knausgaard circles around a mind and a life that, while intelligent, impassioned and perceptive, are ordinary. New York Times, "In Knausgaard’s ‘Spring,’ a Man Considers How Best to Help His Sick Wife," 6 July 2018

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

1652, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for perceptive

Last Updated

12 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for perceptive

The first known use of perceptive was in 1652

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More Definitions for perceptive

perceptive

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of perceptive

: having or showing an ability to understand or notice something easily or quickly

perceptive

adjective
per·​cep·​tive | \ pər-ˈsep-tiv How to pronounce perceptive (audio) \

Medical Definition of perceptive

: responsive to sensory stimulus a perceptive eye

Other Words from perceptive

perceptively adverb
perceptiveness noun
perceptivity \ (ˌ)pər-​ˌsep-​ˈtiv-​ət-​ē How to pronounce perceptivity (audio) \ noun, plural perceptivities

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Comments on perceptive

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