[ per-sep-tiv ]
/ pərˈsɛp tɪv /


having or showing keenness of insight, understanding, or intuition: a perceptive analysis of the problems involved.
having the power or faculty of perceiving.
of, relating to, or showing perception.

Nearby words

  1. percenter,
  2. percentile,
  3. percept,
  4. perceptible,
  5. perception,
  6. perceptively,
  7. perceptual,
  8. perceptual defence,
  9. perceptual mapping,
  10. perceval

Origin of perceptive

1650–60; < Latin percept(us) (see percept) + -ive

Related forms
Can be confusedperceptible perceptive Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for perceptive

British Dictionary definitions for perceptive


/ (pəˈsɛptɪv) /


quick at perceiving; observant
able to perceive
Derived Formsperceptively, adverbperceptiveness or perceptivity, 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

Word Origin and History for perceptive



1650s, from Latin percept-, past participle stem of percipere (see perceive) + -ive. In reference to intelligence from 1860. From mid-15c. as the name of a type of optical instrument. Related: Perceptively; perceptiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for perceptive


[ pər-sĕptĭv ]


Of or relating to perception.
Having the ability to perceive.
Keenly discerning.
Related formsper′cep•tivi•ty (pûr′sĕp-tĭvĭ-tē) n.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.