- 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 for perceive on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for perceives
I find it to be a very interesting concept—turning the weapons on who he perceives to be the perpetrators.David Oyelowo on Playing Martin Luther King Jr., Ebola Fears, and Race in Hollywood
October 15, 2014
He perceives the sounds of evil intent where others detect only well-meaning (if possibly misguided) enthusiasm.America’s Cassandra: David Mamet Speaks on the Lies of Obama and War
November 11, 2013
Perhaps the president is simply rewarding two men he perceives as having been loyal to him.Vietnam, Once Again
January 9, 2013
Much will depend on the outcome of the January 22 election and how Netanyahu perceives the line-up of willing coalition partners.Avigdor Lieberman's Road To The Top
Brent E. Sasley
December 7, 2012
He perceives them as vital coalition allies and therefore does not support any electoral reform that will diminish their power.Kadima: Losing the Vital Center
March 27, 2012
For it perceives its object's little failings with a calm and judicial eye.Roden's Corner
Henry Seton Merriman
It is not sense which perceives, but reason which infers them.Old-Fashioned Ethics and Common-Sense Metaphysics
William Thomas Thornton
He perceives that the sacrifice required is the sacrifice of himself.Bunyan
James Anthony Froude
They were just beginning to realise that the mind works when it perceives.Shelley, Godwin and Their Circle
H. N. Brailsford
The first answer is, that he perceives sights with the eye, and sounds with the ear.Theaetetus
- 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 perceives
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.