1. To obtain knowledge of through the senses; to receive impressions from by means of the bodily organs; to take cognizance of the existence, character, or identity of, by means of the senses; to see, hear, or feel; as, to perceive a distant ship; to perceive a discord.
2. To take intellectual cognizance of; to apprehend by the mind; to be convinced of by direct intuition; to note; to remark; to discern; to see; to understand. Jesus perceived their wickedness. (Matt. Xxii. 18) You may, fair lady, Perceive I speak sincerely. (Shak) Till we ourselves see it with our own eyes, and perceive it by our own understandings, we are still in the dark. (locke)
3. To be affected of influented by. The upper regions of the air perceive the collection of the matter of tempests before the air here below. (bacon)
Synonym: To discern, distinguish, observe, see, feel, know, understand.
To Perceive, Discern. To perceive a thing is to apprehend it as presented to the senses or the intellect; to discern is to mark differences, or to see a thing as distinguished from others around it. We may perceive two persons afar off without being able to discern whether they are men or women. Hence, discern is often used of an act of the senses or the mind involving close, discriminating, analytical attention. We perceive that which is clear or obvious; we discern that which requires much attention to get an idea of it. We perceive light, darkness, colours, or the truth or falsehood of anything. We discern characters, motives, the tendency and consequences of actions, etc.
Origin: OF. Percevoir, perceveir, L. Percipere, perceptum; per (see Per-) – capere to take, receive. See Capacious, and cf. Perception.