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[per-sep-shuh n] /pərˈsɛp ʃən/
the act or faculty of perceiving, or apprehending by means of the senses or of the mind; cognition; understanding.
immediate or intuitive recognition or appreciation, as of moral, psychological, or aesthetic qualities; insight; intuition; discernment:
an artist of rare perception.
the result or product of perceiving, as distinguished from the act of perceiving; percept.
Psychology. a single unified awareness derived from sensory processes while a stimulus is present.
Law. the taking into possession of rents, crops, profits, etc.
Origin of perception
1350-1400; Middle English percepcioun (< Old French percepcïon) < Latin perceptiōn- (stem of perceptiō) comprehension, literally, a taking in. See percept, -ion
Related forms
perceptional, adjective
nonperception, noun
nonperceptional, adjective
reperception, noun
self-perception, noun
unperceptional, adjective
1. awareness, sense, recognition. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for perception
  • Modern psychology describes this fundamental aspect of human perception under the heading of "Gestalt" psychology.
  • Yet, each of these works changed our perception of the known facts.
  • You need depth perception for your brain to be able to judge distance.
  • The psychological study of risk perception has found that an imposed risk almost always prompts more worry.
  • Victory is merely the culmination of planning, perception and perseverance.
  • In fact, just the opposite—he intended them to be a mockery of that very perception, a "satire" of our challenged attention spans.
  • Visual illusions are defined by the dissociation between the physical reality and the subjective perception of an object or event.
  • It's a perception problem.
  • Scientists call this illusory pattern perception.
  • The brain then combines the two views to create the perception of depth.
British Dictionary definitions for perception


the act or the effect of perceiving
insight or intuition gained by perceiving
the ability or capacity to perceive
way of perceiving; awareness or consciousness; view: advertising affects the customer's perception of a product
the process by which an organism detects and interprets information from the external world by means of the sensory receptors
(law) the collection, receipt, or taking into possession of rents, crops, etc
Derived Forms
perceptional, adjective
Word Origin
C15: from Latin perceptiō comprehension; 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
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Word Origin and History for perception

late 14c., "receiving, collection," from Latin perceptionem (nominative perceptio) "perception, apprehension, a taking," from percipere "perceive" (see perceive). First used in the more literal sense of the Latin word; in secondary sense, "the taking cognizance of," it is recorded in English from 1610s. Meaning "intuitive or direct recognition of some innate quality" is from 1827.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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perception in Medicine

perception per·cep·tion (pər-sěp'shən)

  1. The process, act, or faculty of perceiving.

  2. Recognition and interpretation of sensory stimuli based chiefly on memory.

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