from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The process of perceiving something with the senses.
  • noun An instance of this.
  • noun The process or state of being aware of something.
  • noun Insight or knowledge gained by thinking.
  • noun The capacity for such insight or knowledge.
  • noun An insight or point of knowledge.
  • noun An interpretation or impression; an opinion or belief.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Originally, and most commonly down to the middle of the eighteenth century, cognition; thought and sense in general, whether the faculty, the operation, or the resulting idea.
  • noun The mental faculty, operation, or resulting construction of the imagination, of gaining knowledge by virtue of a real action of an object upon the mind.
  • noun An immediate judgment founded on sense or other real action of the object upon the mind, more or less analogous to what takes place in vision.
  • noun In law, participation in receipts; community of interest in income: as, the perception of profits.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The act of perceiving; cognizance by the senses or intellect; apperhension by the bodily organs, or by the mind, of what is presented to them; discernment; apperhension; cognition.
  • noun (Metaph.) The faculty of perceiving; the faculty, or peculiar part, of man's constitution by which he has knowledge through the medium or instrumentality of the bodily organs; the act of apperhending material objects or qualities through the senses; -- distinguished from conception.
  • noun obsolete The quality, state, or capability, of being affected by something external; sensation; sensibility.
  • noun obsolete An idea; a notion.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Conscious understanding of something.
  • noun Vision (ability)
  • noun Acuity
  • noun That which is detected by the five senses; not necessarily understood (imagine looking through fog, trying to understand if you see a small dog or a cat); also that which is detected within consciousness as a thought, intuition, deduction, etc.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun knowledge gained by perceiving
  • noun a way of conceiving something
  • noun becoming aware of something via the senses
  • noun the representation of what is perceived; basic component in the formation of a concept
  • noun the process of perceiving


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English percepcioun, from Old French percepcion, from Latin perceptiō, perceptiōn-, from perceptus, past participle of percipere, to perceive; see perceive.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French perception, from Latin perceptio ("a receiving or collecting, perception, comprehension"), from percipere, past participle perceptus ("to obtain, perceive"); see perceive.


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  • "It's important for people, and especially young people, to understand that this change in perception is going to forever affect the industry of agriculture," stated Dr. Jamison.

    California Animal-Rights Measure Passes Dave Hurteau 2008

  • It's the same as how stores will sell an item for $9.99 instead of $10.00 ... the extra digit does make a difference in perception, and perception is important.

    Was Pennsylvania a double-digit Clinton win - or not? 2008

  • Let's keep things to reality, and CNN's supposition for why this drop in perception is certainly not reality.

    CNN Poll: Obama losing support 2008

  • It seems the variation in perception is a reflection of a more integrated experience that does not separate work from other experiences.

    Eye Of The Beholder 2006

  • It seems the variation in perception is a reflection of a more integrated experience that does not separate work from other experiences.

    Eye Of The Beholder 2006

  • Hence it is clear that knowledge of things demonstrable cannot be acquired by perception, unless the term perception is applied to the possession of scientific knowledge through demonstration.

    Posterior Analytics Aristotle 2002

  • The thing to say, I think, is that these cases of putative perception of God are such that the term perception 'applies to them either perfectly straightforwardly, or else by way of close analogy.

    Warranted Christian Belief 1932- 2000

  • In light of recent Tom Coburn firm rebuttal to angry atmosphere stoked by Fox mis-information activisim, my perception is the growing list of known “fuzzy links” to “Fox bred” violence should give pause to any employee at Fox who bends a knee on any given Sunday.

    Think Progress » Mother of man arrested for threatening Pelosi blames ‘really radical’ Fox News. 2010

  • You're going a bit overboard on the whole notion that "our perception is ours alone" or wine is unique to each individual who drinks.

    Cautiously Raising a Glass to Single-Vineyard Finger Lakes Wines 2009

  • A former boss used to say "my perception is your reality."

    Beating Bridgewater's Big Bear Bet Brian S. Wesbury 2010


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