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Line breaks: dis|cern
Pronunciation: /dɪˈsəːn

Definition of discern in English:


[with object]
1Recognize or find out: I can discern no difference between the two policies [with clause]: pupils quickly discern what is acceptable to the teacher
More example sentences
  • With its limited focus upon a day where a number of important issues came to a head, incomplete or biased coverage could quickly be discerned.
  • Between the two names, no effective difference can be discerned.
  • In many cases, statistically significant differences could be discerned by participants.
1.1Distinguish (someone or something) with difficulty by sight or with the other senses: she could faintly discern the shape of a skull
More example sentences
  • Only those with dyslexia had difficulty discerning the beat in continuous sounds containing sudden rises and falls in loudness, as in such speech transitions as sweet.
  • Her feline sensitive ears could discern a distinct cry coming from each man's mouth.
  • A laugh, golden and delicious, floated up to him on the breeze and he leaned over the railing, peering down and faintly discerning the hedge wall of the royal garden beneath him.
perceive, make out, pick out, detect, recognize, notice, observe, see, spot;
identify, determine, distinguish, differentiate, discriminate, tell apart;
become cognizant of, become aware of, become conscious of
literary descry, espy


late Middle English: via Old French from Latin discernere, from dis- 'apart' + cernere 'to separate'.



Example sentences
  • Instead, it was an opportunity for us to not only be passive receivers of news product but discerners of true knowledge.
  • Instead of a passive receiver of information, the viewer is engaged as a highly activated questioner and discerner of aesthetic relationships.
  • He, who is satisfied through the Guru grace, becomes the discerner of the Guru's word.

Definition of discern in:

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