Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


a. A view or vista.
b. A mental view or outlook: "It is useful occasionally to look at the past to gain a perspective on the present" (Fabian Linden).
2. The appearance of objects in depth as perceived by normal binocular vision.
a. An understanding of how aspects of a subject relate to each other and to the whole: a perspective of history; a need to view the problem in the proper perspective.
b. Subjective evaluation of relative significance; a point of view: the perspective of the displaced homemaker.
c. The ability to perceive things in their actual interrelations or comparative importance: tried to keep my perspective throughout the crisis.
4. The technique of representing three-dimensional objects and depth relationships on a two-dimensional surface.
Of, relating to, seen, or represented in perspective.

[Middle English, science of optics (influenced by French perspective, perspective), from Medieval Latin perspectīva (ars), feminine of perspectīvus, optical, from perspectus, past participle of perspicere, to inspect : per-, per- + specere, to look; see spek- in Indo-European roots.]

per·spec′tiv·al adj.
per·spec′tive·ly adv.


relating to, shown, or viewed in perspective
References in periodicals archive ?
Objective: This project develops a novel view in philosophy of science called perspectival realism, via a three-pronged highly interdisciplinary approach, which combines the philosophy of science, with scientific practice, the history of science and the history of philosophy.
Despite its global scope in content, the book is in need of a global perspectival shift in its sourcing.
We can find many entrances, many doors to open: the pared-down efficiency in the collage illustrations of children's-book author Leo Lionni, the strange botanical frottage of Max Ernst, the evisceration of perspectival boundaries in Henri Matisse's object studies, Irving Blum's display of Andy Warhol's same-but-different soup cans on thin shelves.
This is an extraordinary and fascinating observation; that there is a sense of space created by the interplay of the three panels of a triptych that is somehow more profound, possibly more religious, than the space of a conventional, perspectival image with vanishing-point.
3) The phenomenal character of an experience can only be captured by means of perspectival concepts.
In order to more adequately parse the alternatives for scholarship, we ought to draw two distinctions: (1) between deep engagement and relative disengagement in the mainstream, and (2) between strongly perspectival and weakly perspectival approaches.
Cosmopolitanism--a key idea--"stresses self-reliance, knowledge as a communal, perspectival process rather than as access to ahistorical truth" (p.
Hunt's thesis that the leadership of Catholic women on issues of justice in society should be the measure of progress, rather than women's efforts being defined by the kyriarchy, is a wise, healthy and creative perspectival shift.
circus series, but also, and more clearly here than in previous performances within the project, subverted the ideological force of perspectival logic--our drive to see and know from a singular point-of-view--embedded in contemporary culture.
In defense, McDowell wishes to 'resist being cast as the hind legs of a pantomime horse called "Pittsburgh neo-Hegelianism"' (279, n2), which internalizes such conditions into a 'socially perspectival hybrid conception of knowledge' (284).
But to admit the perspectival nature of all observations also threatens to trap human knowledge in a "vertigo of relativism" (Berger & Luckmann, 1966, p.
I will argue that perspectival culture is so dominant today that it has led to a nearly uncritical embrace of "perception" as the heart of coin theory.