See more synonyms for perceive on
verb (used with object), per·ceived, per·ceiv·ing.
  1. to become aware of, know, or identify by means of the senses: I perceived an object looming through the mist.
  2. 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 formsper·ceiv·ed·ly [per-see-vid-lee, -seevd-] /pərˈsi vɪd li, -ˈsivd-/, adverbper·ceiv·ed·ness, nounper·ceiv·er, nounper·ceiv·ing·ness, nounnon·per·ceiv·ing, adjectivere·per·ceive, verb (used with object), re·per·ceived, re·per·ceiv·ing.self-per·ceiv·ing, adjectiveun·per·ceived, adjectiveun·per·ceiv·ing, adjectivewell-per·ceived, adjective

Synonyms for perceive

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for perceiver

Historical Examples of perceiver

  • There is one who is the knower, the subject, the ego, the perceiver.

    The Inner Consciousness

    Swami Prakashananda

  • That we all see in frames, that we all think in frames, no rational thinker or perceiver will deny.

  • For, it is here necessary that the perceiver and the thing perceived should be similar to each other before true vision can exist.

  • Whenever we use the term “perceiver”, we must know that there is something to be perceived.

    The Inner Consciousness

    Swami Prakashananda

  • Things are perceived only after the fashion of the perceiver, and this is why the syllables vary among different peoples.

British Dictionary definitions for perceiver


  1. to become aware of (something) through the senses, esp the sight; recognize or observe
  2. (tr; may take a clause as object) to come to comprehend; grasp
Derived Formsperceivable, adjectiveperceivability, nounperceivably, adverbperceiver, noun

Word Origin for perceive

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

Word Origin and History for perceiver



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

perceiver in Medicine


  1. To become aware of directly through any of the senses, especially sight or hearing.
  2. To achieve understanding of; apprehend.
Related formsper•ceiva•ble adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.