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per·​cip·​i·​ent pər-ˈsi-pē-ənt How to pronounce percipient (audio)
: one that perceives
: a person on whose mind a telepathic impulse or message is held to fall


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: capable of or characterized by perception : discerning
a percipient critic
percipiently adverb

Examples of percipient in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Raban, who died in January 2023 at the age of eighty, was perhaps the most subtle and percipient writer on travel of his generation. Colin Thubron, The New York Review of Books, 19 Jan. 2023 He is being questioned not as a defendant but as a percipient witness present at the party. Teri Figueroa, San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 Dec. 2023 Their investigators chase down official reports, talk to percipient witnesses, confirm details. Teri Figueroa, San Diego Union-Tribune, 30 Sep. 2023 My thanks to Times TV critic Lorraine Ali for her percipient take., 25 May 2018
That drew a horselaugh from veteran investor Jim Chanos, whose experience as a short-seller has given him a uniquely percipient feel for Wall Street foibles. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 12 Mar. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'percipient.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Latin percipient-, percipiens, present participle of percipere to perceive

First Known Use


1659, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1692, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of percipient was in 1659

Dictionary Entries Near percipient

Cite this Entry

“Percipient.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2024.

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