- to become aware of, know, or identify by means of the senses: I perceived an object looming through the mist.
- to recognize, discern, envision, or understand: I perceive a note of sarcasm in your voice. This is a nice idea but I perceive difficulties in putting it into practice.
Origin of perceive
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for perceive
People always have to perceive the problems before them, including many unexpected nuances, and decide how to handle them.Red Tape Is Strangling Good Samaritans
Philip K. Howard
December 27, 2014
On the other hand, patients may not perceive much downside to taking the medications, even if they may not help much.Without Education, Antibiotic Resistance Will Be Our Greatest Health Crisis
December 19, 2014
They still saw white policemen killing unarmed African Americans in what they perceive as cold blood and without repercussions.Sharpton Recalls Civil Rights Struggle in DC March Against Police Violence
December 13, 2014
They want Americans to perceive Washington as broken, especially heading into 2016.Inside the Democrats’ Godawful Midterm Election Wipeout
November 5, 2014
It becomes a hapless gesture of uninformed social media departments who perceive the potential of engagement without consequences.Jameis Winston's Inevitable #epicfail
August 11, 2014
I cannot perceive that our own comprehension of it is at all essential to the matter.The Hall of Fantasy (From "Mosses From An Old Manse")
And Buck was just sober enough to perceive that he was being held lightly.Way of the Lawless
We perceive God through the soul as we feel air on the body.
The more we perceive of power the more we are freed from fear.
I perceive in your eyes, my indulgent spectators, the criticism which you are too kind to utter.Main Street
- to become aware of (something) through the senses, esp the sight; recognize or observe
- (tr; may take a clause as object) to come to comprehend; grasp
Word Origin and History for perceive
c.1300, via Anglo-French parceif, Old North French *perceivre (Old French perçoivre) "perceive, notice, see; recognize, understand," from Latin percipere "obtain, gather, seize entirely, take possession of," also, figuratively, "to grasp with the mind, learn, comprehend," literally "to take entirely," from per "thoroughly" (see per) + capere "to grasp, take" (see capable).
Replaced Old English ongietan. Both the Latin senses were in Old French, though the primary sense of Modern French percevoir is literal, "to receive, collect" (rents, taxes, etc.), while English uses the word almost always in the metaphorical sense. Related: Perceived; perceiving.
- To become aware of directly through any of the senses, especially sight or hearing.
- To achieve understanding of; apprehend.