Discern Dis*cern", v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Discerned}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Discerning}.] [F. discerner, L. discernere, discretum; dis- + cernere to separate, distinguish. See {Certain}, and cf. {Discreet}.] 1. To see and identify by noting a difference or differences; to note the distinctive character of; to discriminate; to distinguish. [1913 Webster]

To discern such buds as are fit to produce blossoms. --Boyle. [1913 Webster]

A counterfeit stone which thine eye can not discern from a right stone. --Robynson (More's Utopia). [1913 Webster]

2. To see by the eye or by the understanding; to perceive and recognize; as, to discern a difference. [1913 Webster]

And [I] beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding. --Prov. vii. 7. [1913 Webster]

Our unassisted sight . . . is not acute enough to discern the minute texture of visible objects. --Beattie. [1913 Webster]

I wake, and I discern the truth. --Tennyson.

Syn: To perceive; distinguish; discover; penetrate; discriminate; espy; descry; detect. See {Perceive}. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • discerning — discerning; un·discerning; …   English syllables

  • Discerning — Dis*cern ing, a. Acute; shrewd; sagacious; sharp sighted. Macaulay. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • discerning — I adjective acute, astute, circumspect, clever, cognizant, conscious, critical, discreet, discriminating, discriminative, incisive, intelligent, judicious, juridical, keen sighted, knowing, lucid, omniscient, penetrating, perceptive,… …   Law dictionary

  • discerning — action of perceiving, late 14c., verbal noun from DISCERN (Cf. discern). As a prp. adjective, attested from c.1600 …   Etymology dictionary

  • discerning — [adj] discriminating acute, astute, bright, brilliant, clear sighted, clever, critical, gnostic, ingenious, insighted, insightful, intelligent, judicious, knowing, knowledgeable, penetrating, perceptive, percipient, perspicacious, piercing,… …   New thesaurus

  • discerning — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ having or showing good judgement. DERIVATIVES discernment noun …   English terms dictionary

  • discerning — [di zʉrn′iŋ, dis sʉrn′iŋ] adj. having or showing good judgment or understanding; astute discerningly adv …   English World dictionary

  • discerning — [[t]dɪsɜ͟ː(r)nɪŋ[/t]] ADJ GRADED (approval) If you describe someone as discerning, you mean that they are able to judge which things of a particular kind are good and which are bad. ...tailor made holidays to suit the more discerning traveller …   English dictionary

  • discerning — di|scern|ing [dıˈsə:nıŋ US ə:r ] adj showing the ability to make good judgments, especially about art, music, style etc = ↑discriminating ▪ an ideal tour for the discerning traveller the discerning eye/ear (=someone who can make good judgments… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • discerning — adjective showing the ability to make good judgements, especially about art, music, style etc: Amanda liked to think she was discerning in her tastes. | With prices down by a third, there are many bargains around for the discerning buyer …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English