• synonyms


[per-sip-ee-uh nt]
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  1. perceiving or capable of perceiving.
  2. having perception; discerning; discriminating: a percipient choice of wines.
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  1. a person or thing that perceives.
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Origin of percipient

1655–65; < Latin percipient- (stem of percipiēns) present participle of percipere to take in, equivalent to per- per- + -cipi- combining form of present stem of capere to take + -ent- -ent
Related formsper·cip·i·ence, per·cip·i·en·cy, nounnon·per·cip·i·ence, nounnon·per·cip·i·en·cy, nounnon·per·cip·i·ent, adjectiveun·per·cip·i·ent, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for percipience

acumen, astuteness, discrimination, eye, insight, judgment, keenness, nose, penetration, perceptiveness, perspicacity, sagacity, shrewdness, understanding, wit

Examples from the Web for percipience

Historical Examples of percipience

  • Nothing can be more certain than that, apart from percipience, there is no matter that matters.

    God and Mr. Wells

    William Archer

  • And we now come to other cases, where the percipience has been collective, although it has not been repeated.

  • We consider indeed conditions for percipience, but only so far as those conditions are among the disclosures of perception.

    The Concept of Nature

    Alfred North Whitehead

British Dictionary definitions for percipience


  1. able to perceive
  2. perceptive
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  1. a person or thing that perceives
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Derived Formspercipience, nounpercipiently, adverb

Word Origin for percipient

C17: from Latin percipiens observing, from percipere to grasp; see perceive
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 percipience


c.1770, from percipient + -ence.

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1690s, from Latin percipientem, present participle of percipere (see perceive). Earlier in English as a noun, "one who perceives" (1660s).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper