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[per-seev] /pərˈsiv/
verb (used with object), perceived, perceiving.
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
1250-1300; Middle English perceiven < Anglo-French *perceivre, for perçoivre < Latin percipere to lay hold of, grasp, equivalent to per- per- + -cipere, combining form of capere to take
Related forms
[per-see-vid-lee, -seevd-] /pərˈsi vɪd li, -ˈsivd-/ (Show IPA),
perceivedness, noun
perceiver, noun
perceivingness, noun
nonperceiving, adjective
reperceive, verb (used with object), reperceived, reperceiving.
self-perceiving, adjective
unperceived, adjective
unperceiving, adjective
well-perceived, adjective
1. note, discover, observe, descry, distinguish. See notice. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for perceived
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Anders perceived the delusion behind the grayness, and then there was nothing at all.

    Warm Robert Sheckley
  • I then perceived that there was a very unusual expression in his face.

    To be Read at Dusk Charles Dickens
  • On the right I perceived distant lights in windows, so I hurried toward them.

    Hania Henryk Sienkiewicz
  • But of the arc which He disclosed no one group of His followers has as yet perceived the whole.

  • At that time its subtile contradictions were not perceived, nor its practical evils developed.

British Dictionary definitions for perceived


to become aware of (something) through the senses, esp the sight; recognize or observe
(transitive; may take a clause as object) to come to comprehend; grasp
Derived Forms
perceivable, adjective
perceivability, noun
perceivably, adverb
perceiver, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French perçoivre, from Latin percipere seize entirely, from per- (thoroughly) + capere to grasp
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
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Word Origin and History for perceived



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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perceived in Medicine

perceive per·ceive (pər-sēv')
v. per·ceived, per·ceiv·ing, per·ceives

  1. To become aware of directly through any of the senses, especially sight or hearing.

  2. To achieve understanding of; apprehend.

per·ceiv'a·ble adj.
per·ceiv'a·bly adv.
per·ceiv'er n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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