The Meaning of Perspective: What It Is and How To Use It

What is a perspective? This word can be used literally and figuratively. This article has everything you need to know about the meaning of perspective.

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What Does the Word Perspective Mean?

According to Collins English Dictionary, the word perspective has a few different meanings. First, perspective can be a noun. This word can refer to a point of view — literally and figuratively. 

In art, perspective refers to the dimensional appearance of objects through optical science. Art drawn with perspective will have the appearance of depth, dimensions, spatial relationships, and relative distance. 

As an adjective, the word perspective means to be drawn in perspective or having perspective. Perspective is three syllables (per-spec-tive), and the pronunciation of perspective is pəˈspɛktɪv.

What Are Translations of the Word Perspective?

Languages worldwide have translations of the word perspective you might see if you are reading a book in a foreign language, traveling to a foreign country, or studying a foreign language. 

To learn how to say the word perspective in several different languages, you can reference the below list of translations. Then, you can begin to use these words when you are speaking another language or recognize them when reading in a different language. 

  • Galician: perspectiva‎ (fem.)
  • Greek: προοπτική‎ (fem.)
  • Portuguese: perspectiva‎ (fem.)
  • German: Aussicht‎ (fem.)
  • Catalan: perspectiva‎ (fem.)
  • Spanish: perspectiva‎ (fem.)
  • Danish: udsigt‎ (common), perspektiv‎ (neut.)
  • Finnish: näkymä‎
  • Dutch: perspectief‎ (neut.)
  • Asturian: perspeutiva‎ (fem.)
  • Russian: перспектива‎, вид‎ (masc.), обзо́р‎ (masc.), ра́курс‎ (masc.)
  • Italian: prospettiva‎ (fem.)

What Is the Origin of Perspective?

Learning about the origin of different words is key to understanding them. If you understand the roots of the word perspective, you will be able to decipher its definition and other words built using the same roots. Often, words with the same roots will have a similar definition.

The word perspective has been used since the Middle English perspectyf. This comes from the Middle French perspective and Old Italian prospettiva and prospetto, which mean view or prospect. 

The Italian and French terms come from the Latin perspectus and prospectus, which are rooted in the Medieval Latin perspectīva ars/perspectivum and perspectivus/perspectīvus. Perspective has Indo-European roots formed using the prefix per, which means through, and specere, which means to look.

How Can the Word Perspective Be Used in a Sentence?

The word perspective has various definitions. Using words in a sentence is a great way to memorize their definitions, especially if there is more than one definition. 

To better understand the meaning of the word perspective, review the below example sentences. See if you can identify the word perspective’s context in each sentence. Then, try to come up with your own example sentences for the word perspective as practice. Finally, you can use this word in conversation or writing. 

The viewer had a different perspective on the film than the critic; the decision-makers creating the sequel weren’t sure which to trust.

From the bartender’s perspective, the cocktails on the restaurant’s menu were missing salt. 

From a legal perspective, the man’s rights to Tesla stock were nonexistent due to his gap year. 

The painter shaded the three-dimensional objects with the proper perspective.

From my mother’s perspective, social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are a waste of time.

The perspective of history scholars is that we should not have a positivist view or negative view on different topics but look at all aspects of a subject.

A normal binocular vision only offers a forward perspective, but the new binoculars provide options for a single angle or a panoramic appearance.

The spy used sound sources to get an accurate perspective on the true relations between the participant and his boss.

What Are Synonyms of the Word Perspective?

Sometimes, the word perspective isn’t perfect in a given situation. Other times, you may feel that you have overused the word perspective and are looking for another term to use. You might even be trying to teach someone what perspective means using other words with the same meaning.

In any of these cases, using a synonym is very helpful. By referencing this list of synonyms from Power Thesaurus, you can learn about words with the same definition or a similar definition as the word perspective. Then, you can use these synonyms in cases where perspective isn’t the perfect word to use, when you have overused the word perspective, or if you are trying to come up with other similar words for perspective. 

  • angle
  • angles
  • approach
  • aspect
  • attitude
  • attitudes
  • context
  • distant view
  • field of view
  • frame of reference
  • frame of mind
  • horizon
  • landscape
  • long-range
  • lookout
  • mental view
  • opinion
  • outlook
  • panorama
  • perception
  • point of view
  • position
  • positions
  • prospect
  • purview
  • scene
  • scenery
  • sight
  • slant
  • stance
  • stand
  • standpoint
  • sweep
  • thinking
  • vantage point
  • view
  • viewpoint
  • views
  • vision
  • vista
  • way of looking
  • way of thinking

Conclusoin

Overall, we can use the word perspective in several different ways. It can refer to a literal or figurative point of view as a noun. It can also refer to art techniques that create dimension and depth. It can also be used as an adjective to refer to things that have perspective. 

Sources:

  1. Perspective Definition & Meaning | Dictionary.com 
  2. Perspective Synonyms | Power Thesaurus 
  3. Perspective definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary