Etymology
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perceive (v.)

c. 1300, perceiven, "become aware of, gain knowledge of," especially "to come to know by direct experience," via Anglo-French parceif, Old North French *perceivre (Old French perçoivre) "perceive, notice, see; recognize, understand," from Latin percipere "obtain, gather, seize entirely, take possession of," also, figuratively, "to grasp with the mind, learn, comprehend," literally "to take entirely," from per "thoroughly" (see per) + capere "to grasp, take," from PIE root *kap- "to grasp."

Replaced Old English ongietan. Both the Latin senses were in Old French, though English uses the word almost always in the metaphorical sense. Related: Perceived; perceiving.

updated on March 23, 2022

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