- 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 perceiving
There is no disconnect between what the scientists are measuring and finding and what Americans are perceiving and experiencing.New Poll Finds Americans Are Worried About Runaway Population Growth
February 28, 2013
If he's perceiving elite anxiety, one can only say: finally.World to Davos: Will You Admit You Screwed Up?
January 28, 2013
Najafi told The Daily Beast that perceiving his song as an insult is “a 100 percent misinterpretation.”Iranian Rapper Shahin Najafi Faces Death Threats for Song Deemed Insult
May 12, 2012
Perceiving a stranger in the wagon she paused, with a look of embarrassment.The Works of Whittier, Volume V (of VII)
John Greenleaf Whittier
He has been denied the gift—so precious to an artist—of perceiving the ideal.The Greater Inclination
Then, on perceiving Hyacinthe, she took possession of him and carried him off into a corner.The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete
I said, perceiving, however, the hold I had by my further quotation given him.Wilfrid Cumbermede
The wayfarer, Perceiving the pathway to truth, Was struck with astonishment.War is Kind
- 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 perceiving
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.