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discover Syllabification: dis·cov·er
Pronunciation: /dəˈskəvər/

Definition of discover in English:


[with object]
1Find (something or someone) unexpectedly or in the course of a search: firemen discovered a body in the debris she discovered her lover in the arms of another woman
More example sentences
  • The men noticed the boy was missing and after a frantic search they discovered his body in the river.
  • Her body was discovered during the routine searches of houses on the estate shortly after 1pm on Tuesday.
  • During the search they first discovered a large white bag containing one million dinars, before coming across the padlocked metal box.
find, locate, come across/upon, stumble on, chance on, light on, bring to light, uncover, unearth, turn up;
track down
1.1Become aware of (a fact or situation): the courage to discover the truth and possibly be disappointed [with clause]: it was a relief to discover that he wasn’t in
More example sentences
  • I followed my dad into the kitchen to realize my mother had discovered the same fact.
  • It's also an opportunity to discover fascinating facts about mammal behaviour and find out just where humans fit in amongst the diversity that exists in the world of the warm-blooded.
  • In answering these questions, it would be reassuring, in a way, to report that the basic facts were discovered only after the war, but the truth is otherwise.
find out, learn, realize, recognize, fathom, see, ascertain, work out, dig up/out, ferret out, root out
informal figure out, dope out
1.2Be the first to find or observe (a place, substance, or scientific phenomenon): Fleming discovered penicillin early in the twentieth century
More example sentences
  • With every passing phase, life becomes more complex in the sense that it allows man to either stumble upon or to consciously discover new phenomena and substance.
  • Scientists call this recently discovered phenomenon gene silencing.
  • A hitherto unknown worm that survives without oxygen was also discovered by a scientific team.
hit on, come up with, invent, originate, devise, design, contrive, conceive of;
pioneer, develop
1.3Perceive the attractions of (an activity or subject) for the first time: a teenager who has recently discovered fashion
More example sentences
  • If you don't have people like me out there telling some of the stories, you're not going to have people who had broader interest discovering those subjects.
  • They have recently discovered a new method of Healing, which has been used in America for 27 years.
  • I've only recently discovered his work; this one I enjoy for the taste it has of the city and the artists that work within it.
1.4Be the first to recognize the potential of (an actor, singer, or musician): I discovered the band back in the mid 70s
More example sentences
  • We have discovered a conductor now, which is exciting in itself.
  • I have discovered a drummer that will knock your socks off.
  • But although he has found the technology to come up with the tunes, he has struggled to discover vocalists to deliver the goods.
2 archaic Divulge (a secret): they contain some secrets which Time will discover
More example sentences
  • Only time will discover what this blog will evolve into.
  • In time the best of Schoenberg will, of course, survive and time will discover the proper values.
  • "Time will discover the hand that baptizes him," the old man said.
2.1Disclose the identity of (someone): she at last discovered herself to me
More example sentences
  • A little time afterwards she discovered herself to him.
  • For seven days he remained in his voluntary prison; but his stock of water being expended, he discovered himself to the captain, who literally cut him out of the hold, and rather reluctantly gave him his liberty on arriving at Boston.
  • This was also the favourite object of his charity after he had discovered himself to the world in Limousin.
2.2Display (a quality or feeling): with what agility did these military men discover their skill in feats of war
More example sentences
  • In this nostalgia for community some would discover utopian impulses, others would decry imaginary fulfilments as ideological.


Middle English (in the sense 'make known'): from Old French descovrir, from late Latin discooperire, from Latin dis- (expressing reversal) + cooperire 'cover completely' (see cover).

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