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[per-seev] /pərˈsiv/
verb (used with object), perceived, perceiving.
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
1250-1300; Middle English perceiven < Anglo-French *perceivre, for perçoivre < Latin percipere to lay hold of, grasp, equivalent to per- per- + -cipere, combining form of capere to take
Related forms
[per-see-vid-lee, -seevd-] /pərˈsi vɪd li, -ˈsivd-/ (Show IPA),
perceivedness, noun
perceiver, noun
perceivingness, noun
nonperceiving, adjective
reperceive, verb (used with object), reperceived, reperceiving.
self-perceiving, adjective
unperceived, adjective
unperceiving, adjective
well-perceived, adjective
1. note, discover, observe, descry, distinguish. See notice. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for unperceived
Historical Examples
  • He was unperceived by Friedhelm and Sigmund, who were looking after the procession.

    The First Violin Jessie Fothergill
  • The death is slow and unperceived, but it is sure; and it is a death that has no resurrection.

  • He has followed me, unperceived, all the way from home—I would not lose him for fifty pounds.

  • The Vicomte—a little man, as I have said—slipped in unperceived.


    Henry Seton Merriman
  • So softly he reached her, that for a moment he was unperceived.

    The Young Duke Benjamin Disraeli
  • If the rascal sees the light he can get out of our way and we will pass him unperceived.

    The River of Darkness William Murray Graydon
  • She stole away, but not unperceived, for one pair of eyes was ever upon her.

    Fairy Fingers Anna Cora Mowatt Ritchie
  • But before he moved away he had slipped the money into he bandit's wallet, unperceived by him.

    Columba Prosper Merimee
  • There is a subtle error here which is unperceived by the majority.

  • “Water,” said the doctor, who had closed up with us unperceived.

    Bunyip Land George Manville Fenn
British Dictionary definitions for unperceived


to become aware of (something) through the senses, esp the sight; recognize or observe
(transitive; may take a clause as object) to come to comprehend; grasp
Derived Forms
perceivable, adjective
perceivability, noun
perceivably, adverb
perceiver, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French perçoivre, from Latin percipere seize entirely, from per- (thoroughly) + capere to grasp
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for unperceived

mid-14c., from un- (1) "not" + past participle of perceive (v.).



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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unperceived in Medicine

perceive per·ceive (pər-sēv')
v. per·ceived, per·ceiv·ing, per·ceives

  1. To become aware of directly through any of the senses, especially sight or hearing.

  2. To achieve understanding of; apprehend.

per·ceiv'a·ble adj.
per·ceiv'a·bly adv.
per·ceiv'er n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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