What does perception mean?

Definitions for perception
pərˈsɛp ʃənper·cep·tion

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word perception.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. percept, perception, perceptual experiencenoun

    the representation of what is perceived; basic component in the formation of a concept

  2. perceptionnoun

    a way of conceiving something

    "Luther had a new perception of the Bible"

  3. perceptionnoun

    the process of perceiving

  4. perceptionnoun

    knowledge gained by perceiving

    "a man admired for the depth of his perception"

  5. sensing, perceptionnoun

    becoming aware of something via the senses


  1. perceptionnoun

    Conscious understanding of something.

  2. perceptionnoun

    Vision (ability)

  3. perceptionnoun


  4. perceptionnoun

    (cognition) 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.

  5. Etymology: From perception, from perceptio, from percipere, past participle perceptus; see perceive.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Perceptionnoun

    Etymology: perception, Fr. perceptio, Lat.

    Matter hath no life nor perception, and is not conscious of its own existence. Richard Bentley, Sermons.

    Perception is that act of the mind, or rather a passion or impression, whereby the mind becomes conscious of any thing; as when I feel hunger, thirst, cold or heat. Isaac Watts.

    By the inventors, and their followers that would seem not to come too short of the perceptions of the leaders, they are magnified. Matthew Hale, Origin of Mankind.

    Great mountains have a perception of the disposition of the air to tempests sooner than the vallies below; and therefore they say in Wales, when certain hills have their night caps on, they mean mischief. Francis Bacon.

    This experiment discovereth perception in plants to move towards that which should comfort them, though at a distance. Francis Bacon, Natural History.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Perceptionnoun

    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

  2. Perceptionnoun

    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

  3. Perceptionnoun

    the quality, state, or capability, of being affected by something external; sensation; sensibility

  4. Perceptionnoun

    an idea; a notion

  5. Etymology: [L. perceptio: cf. F. perception. See Perceive.]


  1. Perception

    Perception is the organization, identification, and interpretation of sensory information in order to represent and understand the environment. All perception involves signals in the nervous system, which in turn result from physical stimulation of the sense organs. For example, vision involves light striking the retinas of the eyes, smell is mediated by odor molecules and hearing involves pressure waves. Perception is not the passive receipt of these signals, but can be shaped by learning, memory, and expectation. Perception involves these "top-down" effects as well as the "bottom-up" process of processing sensory input. The "bottom-up" processing is basically low-level information that's used to build up higher-level information. The "top-down" processing refers to a person's concept and expectations that influence perception. Perception depends on complex functions of the nervous system, but subjectively seems mostly effortless because this processing happens outside conscious awareness. Since the rise of experimental psychology in the late 19th Century, psychology's understanding of perception has progressed by combining a variety of techniques. Psychophysics measures the effect on perception of varying the physical qualities of the input. Sensory neuroscience studies the brain mechanisms underlying perception. Perceptual systems can also be studied computationally, in terms of the information they process. Perceptual issues in philosophy include the extent to which sensory qualities such as sounds, smells or colors exist in objective reality rather than the mind of the perceiver.

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Perception

    The process by which the nature and meaning of sensory stimuli are recognized and interpreted.

Editors Contribution

  1. perception

    To perceive with the senses.

    She was well able to shift her perception as she navigated her way through life.

    Submitted by MaryC on January 19, 2020  

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'perception' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #4237

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'perception' in Written Corpus Frequency: #4370

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'perception' in Nouns Frequency: #1302

How to pronounce perception?

How to say perception in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of perception in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of perception in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of perception in a Sentence

  1. Peiter Zatko:

    Your whole perception of the world is made from what you are seeing, reading and consuming online, and if you don't have an understanding of what's real, what's not -- yeah, I think this is pretty scary, yeah, I am.

  2. Debasish Mridha, M.D.:

    Our happiness or misery depends upon our perception, not on the situation.

  3. Fred Cromer:

    I think there was a perception, depending on which version of the CRJ that the airline was operating, that the Embraer was new and an upgraded cabin versus the CRJ experience and I think we responded to that very effectively with the Atmosphere cabin, there's no reason why we shouldn't be saying we can attack half the market.

  4. Jonathan Miller:

    There has been a release of pent-up demand that came with a greater perception of safety and activity that is drawing inbound migration from all over the country, now with the relaxation of the Covid travel ban, we expect an uptick of international demand in the coming months. The next leg up will be early next year when corporate America comes back and people return to work in large numbers.

  5. Richard Hanley:

    It would be difficult for the audience to pay attention to what he's reading in terms of the news when the perception is all about this scandal.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


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    without the natural or usual covering
    • A. affront
    • B. denudate
    • C. efface
    • D. abhor

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