a. The process of perceiving something with the senses: the perception of a faint sound.
b. An instance of this: sense perceptions.
a. The process or state of being aware of something: the perception of time.
b. Insight or knowledge gained by thinking: the perception that inheritance must be coded in DNA.
c. The capacity for such insight or knowledge: theories of how to enhance human perception.
d. An insight or point of knowledge: The article is full of astute perceptions.
3. An interpretation or impression; an opinion or belief: doctors working to change the public perception of certain diseases.
[Middle English percepcioun, from Old French percepcion, from Latin perceptiō, perceptiōn-, from perceptus, past participle of percipere, to perceive; see PERCEIVE.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.