The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Perceive \Per*ceive"\ (p[~e]r*s[=e]v"), v. t. [imp. & p. p.
Perceived (p[~e]r*s[=e]vd"); p. pr. & vb. n. Perceiving.]
[OF. percevoir, perceveir, L. percipere, perceptum; per (see
Per-) + capere to take, receive. See Capacious, and cf.
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. --Reid.
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.
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. [R.]
The upper regions of the air perceive the collection
of the matter of tempests before the air here below.
Syn: To discern; distinguish; observe; see; feel; know;
Usage: 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, colors,
or the truth or falsehood of anything. We discern
characters, motives, the tendency and consequences of
actions, etc." --Crabb.