[ per-seev ]
See synonyms for: perceiveperceivedperceivesperceiving 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

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English perceiven, from unattested Anglo-French perceivre, for perçoivre, from Latin percipere “to lay hold of, grasp,” equivalent to per- per- + -cipere, combining form of capere “to take”

synonym study For perceive

1. See notice.

Other words for perceive

Other words from perceive

  • per·ceiv·er, noun
  • per·ceiv·ing·ness, noun
  • non·per·ceiv·ing, adjective
  • re·per·ceive, verb (used with object), re·per·ceived, re·per·ceiv·ing.
  • self-per·ceiv·ing, adjective
  • un·per·ceiv·ing, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use perceive in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for perceive


/ (pəˈsiːv) /

  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

Origin of perceive

C13: from Old French perçoivre, from Latin percipere seize entirely, from per- (thoroughly) + capere to grasp

Derived forms of perceive

  • perceivable, adjective
  • perceivability, noun
  • perceivably, adverb
  • perceiver, noun

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