What does perspective mean?

Definitions for perspective
pərˈspɛk tɪvper·spec·tive

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word perspective.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. position, view, perspectivenoun

    a way of regarding situations or topics etc.

    "consider what follows from the positivist view"

  2. perspective, linear perspectivenoun

    the appearance of things relative to one another as determined by their distance from the viewer


  1. perspectivenoun

    A view, vista or outlook.

  2. perspectivenoun

    The appearance of depth in objects, especially as perceived using binocular vision.

  3. perspectivenoun

    The technique of representing three-dimensional objects on a two-dimensional surface.

  4. perspectivenoun

    The choice of a single angle or point of view from which to sense, categorize, measure or codify experience.

  5. perspectivenoun

    The ability to consider things in such relative perspective

  6. perspectivenoun

    A perspective optical glass, as used in a telescope.

    Not a perspective, but a mirror. uE000101581uE001 Sir Thomas Browne.

  7. perspectivenoun

    By analogy, sound recording technique to adjust and integrate sound sources seemingly naturally

  8. perspectiveadjective

    providing visual aid

  9. perspectiveadjective

    of, in or relating to perspective

  10. Etymology: Recorded since 1381 (), from Old - or, from the first word of the Medieval () perspectiva ars "science of optics", the feminine of perspectivus "of sight, optical", from perspectus, the past participle of perspicere "to inspect, look through", itself from per- "through" + specere "to look at"; the noun sense was influenaced or mediated by () prospettiva, from prospetto 'prspect', itself from the above Latin prosecere

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Perspectiveadjective

    Relating to the science of vision; optick; optical.

    We have perspective houses, where we make demonstrations of all lights and radiations; and out of things uncoloured and transparent, we can represent unto you all several colours. Francis Bacon.

  2. Perspectivenoun

    Etymology: perspectif, Fr. perspicio, Lat.

    If it tend to danger, they turn about the perspective, and shew it so little, that he can scarce discern it. John Denham.

    It may import us in this calm, to hearken to the storms raising abroad; and by the best perspectives, to discover from what coast they break. William Temple.

    You hold the glass, but turn the perspective,
    And farther off the lessen’d object drive. Dryden.

    Faith for reason’s glimmering light shall give
    Her immortal perspective. Matthew Prior.

    Medals have represented their buildings according to the rules of perspective. Joseph Addison, on Ancient Medals.

    Lofty trees, with sacred shades,
    And perspectives of pleasant glades,
    Where nymphs of brightest form appear. Dryden.


  1. perspective

    Perspective refers to a particular attitude or way of viewing or understanding something. It can also refer to the art technique of creating an illusion of three dimensions on a two-dimensional surface by suggesting depth or distance.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Perspectivenoun

    of or pertaining to the science of vision; optical

  2. Perspectivenoun

    pertaining to the art, or in accordance with the laws, of perspective

  3. Perspectiveadjective

    a glass through which objects are viewed

  4. Perspectiveadjective

    that which is seen through an opening; a view; a vista

  5. Perspectiveadjective

    the effect of distance upon the appearance of objects, by means of which the eye recognized them as being at a more or less measurable distance. Hence, aerial perspective, the assumed greater vagueness or uncertainty of outline in distant objects

  6. Perspectiveadjective

    the art and the science of so delineating objects that they shall seem to grow smaller as they recede from the eye; -- called also linear perspective

  7. Perspectiveadjective

    a drawing in linear perspective

  8. Etymology: [L. perspicere, perspectum, to look through; per + spicere, specere, to look: cf. F. perspectif; or from E. perspective, n. See Spy, n.]


  1. Perspective

    Perspective in the graphic arts, such as drawing, is an approximate representation, on a flat surface, of an image as it is seen by the eye. The two most characteristic features of perspective are that objects are drawn: ⁕Smaller as their distance from the observer increases ⁕Foreshortened: the size of an object's dimensions along the line of sight are relatively shorter than dimensions across the line of sight

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Perspective

    per-spek′tiv, n. a view or a vista: the art of drawing objects on a plane surface, so as to give the picture the same appearance to the eye as the objects themselves: just proportion in all the parts: a telescope or field-glass: a picture in perspective.—adj. pertaining or according to perspective.—adv. Perspec′tively.—ns. Perspec′tograph, an instrument for indicating correctly the points and outlines of objects; Perspectog′raphy, the science of perspective, or of delineating it.—Perspective plane, the surface on which the picture of the objects to be represented in perspective is drawn.—In perspective, according to the laws of perspective. [Fr.,—L. perspicĕre, perspectumper, through, specĕre, to look.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. perspective

    The old term for a hand telescope. Also, the science by which objects are delineated according to their natural appearance and situation.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. perspective

    Is the art of drawing the resemblance of objects on a plane surface, as the objects themselves appear to the eye, etc.

Editors Contribution

  1. perspective

    An understanding of each facet of a subject and how the facets connect and relate to the whole.

    The team perspective is clear and we learn from each other.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 18, 2020  

  2. perspective

    The ability to perceive in actual reality relating to an overview or level of importance.

    The perspective of current life is important and we are achieving things efficiently working united as one intelligent humanity.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 18, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. Perspective

    Perspective vs. Prospective -- In this Grammar.com article you will learn the differences between the words Perspective and Prospective.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'perspective' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #3172

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'perspective' in Nouns Frequency: #1166

How to pronounce perspective?

How to say perspective in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of perspective in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of perspective in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of perspective in a Sentence

  1. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu:

    In the future, if there is any constitutional change, we will see. But at the moment this is the division of power which is clear from the perspective of legality and from the perspective of political responsibility.

  2. Dave Hollis:

    From a company perspective and a public perspective, fairy tales are a part of our DNA, this is decidedly something that Disney does and does well.

  3. Hendrith Vanlon Smith Jr:

    Supply chains have evolved into value webs. The emphasis is no longer only on supply and the perspective is no longer linear. Instead, emphasis is spread out among various interconnected parts and the perspective is holistic. In order to adapt, we have to ask ourselves more meaningful questions about everything.

  4. Christopher Morley:

    Humor is perhaps a sense of intellectual perspective an awareness that some things are really important, others not and that the two kinds are most oddly jumbled in everyday affairs.

  5. Elizabeth Nabel:

    I might have watched the game from purely an entertainment perspective in the past, but now I clearly watch the game from a safety perspective, my eyes are always out there watching the players, looking for potentially harm or injuries.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for perspective

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"perspective." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 4 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/perspective>.

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    a protective covering (as for a knife or sword)
    • A. germ
    • B. flair
    • C. sheath
    • D. reciprocal

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