Definitions

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

  • n. The process, act, or faculty of perceiving.
  • n. The effect or product of perceiving.
  • n. Psychology Recognition and interpretation of sensory stimuli based chiefly on memory.
  • n. Psychology The neurological processes by which such recognition and interpretation are effected.
  • n. Insight, intuition, or knowledge gained by perceiving.
  • n. The capacity for such insight.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Conscious understanding of something.
  • n. Vision (ability)
  • n. Acuity
  • n. 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. 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.
  • n. 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.
  • n. The quality, state, or capability, of being affected by something external; sensation; sensibility.
  • n. An idea; a notion.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. 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.
  • n. 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.
  • n. 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.
  • n. In law, participation in receipts; community of interest in income: as, the perception of profits.

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

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

Etymologies

Middle English percepcioun, from Old French percepcion, from Latin perceptiō, perceptiōn-, from perceptus, past participle of percipere, to perceive; see perceive.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French perception, from Latin perceptio ("a receiving or collecting, perception, comprehension"), from percipere, past participle perceptus ("to obtain, perceive"); see perceive. (Wiktionary)

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