When we perceive something, we become aware of or notice it. Sometimes we perceive things by using our senses of sight, hearing, and smell.

Or we can use our mind to perceive things, which means that we are able to recognize or understand them. We can also perceive a person or thing as having certain qualities: Do you perceive yourself as a good student? The Latin root percipere means "to receive, understand," from the prefix per- "thoroughly" plus capere "to seize, take."

Definitions of perceive
  1. verb
    become aware of through the senses
    “I could perceive the ship coming over the horizon”
    synonyms: comprehend
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    feel, sense
    perceive by a physical sensation, e.g., coming from the skin or muscles
    perceive in terms of a past experience
    pick up, receive
    register (perceptual input)
    perceive intuitively or through some inexplicable perceptive powers
    perceive what is not there; have illusions
    perceive incorrectly
    catch, pick up
    perceive with the senses quickly, suddenly, or momentarily
    experience while sleeping
    ache, hurt, suffer
    feel physical pain
    inhale the odor of; perceive by the olfactory sense
    perceive via the tactile sense
    perceive by sight or have the power to perceive by sight
    sight, spy
    catch sight of; to perceive with the eyes
    perceive (sound) via the auditory sense
    hear with intention
    perceive by the sense of taste
    perceive oneself to be in a certain condition or place
    see through
    perceive the true nature of
    receive a communication from someone
    divine by reading someone's palms
    catch, get
    suffer from the receipt of
    catch a glimpse of or see briefly
    feel a sudden sharp, local pain
    prick, sting, twinge
    cause a stinging pain
    sniff, whiff
    perceive by inhaling through the nose
    nose, scent, wind
    catch the scent of; get wind of
    snuff, snuffle
    sniff or smell inquiringly
    get a noseful, get a whiff
    smell strongly and intensely
    see and understand, have a good eye
    catch a glimpse, catch sight, get a look
    see something for a brief time
    behold, lay eyes on
    see with attention
    see double
    see things as if they were there twice
    descry, espy, spot, spy
    catch sight of
    detect, discover, find, notice, observe
    discover or determine the existence, presence, or fact of
    hear out
    listen to every detail and give a full hearing to
    listen in
    listen quietly, without contributing to the conversation
    advert, attend, give ear, hang, pay heed
    give heed (to)
    catch, overhear, take in
    hear, usually without the knowledge of the speakers
    catch, get
    perceive by hearing
    hark, harken, hearken
    listen; used mostly in the imperative
    eavesdrop, listen in
    listen without the speaker's knowledge
    savor, savour
    taste appreciatively
    be the source of great pain for
  2. verb
    become conscious of
    “She finally perceived the futility of her protest”
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    sense, smell, smell out
    become aware of not through the senses but instinctively
    type of:
    realise, realize, see, understand
    perceive (an idea or situation) mentally
  3. verb
    look on as or consider
    synonyms: esteem, look on, look upon, regard as, repute, take to be, think of
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    type of:
    believe, conceive, consider, think
    judge or regard; look upon; judge
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