Definitions of the word "perception" include the ability to become aware of something through the physical senses, an intuitive insight, the understanding of something and a way of regarding things. The ability to become aware of things through the senses includes all five senses, although the use of perception at times refers only to the sense of sight.

"The sound was just beyond his perception," provides an example of the use of perception as the ability to become aware of something.

Use of the word to reflect an intuitive insight occurs in the sentence, "'The boy looked sad,' said the man with great perception."

"His perception of the mechanics of movement was impressive," offers an example of perception used to illustrate an understanding of something.

An example of perception as a way of interpreting things occurs in the sentence, "The public perception of the team was at an all-time high." This use of the word is synonymous to the concept of a mental impression of things.

In sciences such as psychology and zoology, perception refers to the neurophysiological processes through which organisms become aware of and interpret stimuli. An example of this use is, "Professor Jones studied the reasoning and perception abilities of gorillas."