Definition of percept in US English:



  • 1An object of perception; something that is perceived.

    • ‘Smells and tastes are percepts that do not exist outside of the human observer, however, so an analysis of wine judgment that emphasises only chemosensory properties is incomplete.’
    • ‘Anyway, the idea of the percept is secondary to the idea that there exists in art works forces that are outside of our control, so-called ‘lines of flight’ that resist inscription, stratification, capture.’
    • ‘These standardized percepts may also be described as visual continuants.’
    • ‘From the openness of our task-directed lives, we see things as percepts without structure; when we engage in the aesthetic act of perception, on the other hand, the world is creatively engaged and embodied.’
    • ‘This is because hearing is not a property of the ear (which is a mere sound wave analyzer) but a property of the brain as a machinery that converts noise into meaningful percepts.’
    1. 1.1 A mental concept that is developed as a consequence of the process of perception.
      • ‘Philosophers have long held that a person's percepts are necessarily private and inaccessible to anyone else.’
      • ‘I may be perceptually blind, but not all scientists will be, and out of this fact arises the possibility of new percepts and paradigms.’
      • ‘As a psychological function, sensation is the means by which we process in consciousness the evidence of our senses and build up percepts of our world.’
      • ‘Differences in the relative positions of features with respect to reference frames lead to different percepts of the objects - the percept of a square in one case, and of a diamond in another.’
      • ‘This is so because although information concerning the external world is received and processed through our senses, the resulting percepts and mental activities remain entirely private within one's own consciousness.’


Mid 19th century: from Latin perceptum ‘something perceived’, neuter past participle of percipere ‘seize, understand’, on the pattern of concept.