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discern

Definition:

to detect with the senses

Class:

perception verb (seeing, hearing, feeling, etc.)

Past tense:

discerned

Present participle:

discerning

3rd-person singular present:

discerns

Original source:

Princeton WordNet

Example:

resolve

Followed by:

perceive

Synonyms:

discriminate | distinguish | make out | pick out | recognise [British spelling] | recognize [American/Canadian spelling] | spot | tell apart

Etymology:

Old French discerner (13th century) "distinguish (between), separate" (by...
(Source: Online Etymology)  [more]

Definition references

Collins Dictionary:

discern | discerner [noun, derived]

[transitive] to recognize or perceive clearly | to recognize or perceive (differences) (11 of 498 words, 2 definitions, 9 usage examples, pronunciation)

www​.collinsdictionary​.com​/dictionary​/english​/discern

Merriam-Webster:

discern | discriminate [synonym, sense-specific] | behold [synonym, sense-specific] | catch [synonym, sense-specific] | descry [synonym, sense-specific] | see [synonym, sense-specific] | distinguish [synonym, sense-specific] | espy [synonym, sense-specific] | eye [synonym, sense-specific] | ...

to detect with the eyes ; to detect with senses other than vision | to recognize or identify as separate and distinct; "discriminate" | to come to ... (25 of 387 words, 4 definitions, 5 usage examples, pronunciations)

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/dictionary​/discern

Oxford Dictionary:

discern | discerner [derived]

recognize or find out | distinguish (someone or something) with difficulty by sight or with the other senses (17 of 105 words, 2 definitions, 3 usage examples, pronunciation)

oxforddictionaries​.com​/definition​/english​/discern

Wiktionary:

discern | discerned [past tense] | discerning [present participle] | discerns [3rd-person singular present]

[transitive] To detect with the senses, especially with the eyes. | [transitive] To perceive, recognize, or comprehend with the mind; to descry. | [transitive] To distinguish something as being different from something else; to differentiate. | ... (33 of 87 words, 4 definitions, 4 usage examples)

en​.wiktionary​.org​/wiki​/discern

American Heritage Dictionary:

discern | discerned [past tense] | discerning [present participle] | discerns [3rd-person singular present] | discerner [noun, related]

To perceive with the eyes or intellect; detect. | To recognize or comprehend mentally. | To perceive or recognize as being different or distinct; ... (22 of 70 words, 4 definitions, pronunciation)

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/discern

Macmillan British Dictionary:

discern [transitive, formal] | discerned [past tense] | discerning [present participle] | discerns [3rd-person singular present]

to notice something, especially after thinking about it carefully or studying it | to see or hear something, especially something that is far away or ... (24 of 68 words, 2 definitions, 2 usage examples, pronunciation)

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/british​/discern

Random House Dictionary:

discern

to perceive by the sight or some other sense or by the intellect; see, recognize, or apprehend. | to distinguish mentally; recognize as distinct or ... (24 of 54 words, 3 definitions, 2 usage examples, pronunciation)

dictionary​.infoplease​.com​/discern

New World Dictionary:

discern | discernible [adjective, related] | discernibly [adverb, related]

to separate (a thing) mentally from another or others; recognize as separate or different | to perceive or recognize; make out clearly | to perceive ... (23 of 53 words, 3 definitions, pronunciation)

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/discern

Cambridge Dictionary:

discern [formal]

to see, recognize or understand something that is not clear (10 of 33 words, 2 usage examples, pronunciations)

dictionary​.cambridge​.org​/dictionary​/british​/discern

Wikipedia:

Distinguishing | distinguish

a case means to contrast the facts of the case before the court from the facts of a case of precedent where there is an apparent similarity. By successfully distinguishing a case, the holding or legal reasoning of the earlier case will either not apply... (45 of 284 words)

en​.wikipedia​.org​/wiki​/Distinguishing

Columbia Encyclopedia:

croaker | sea mink | sea trout | corbina | drum | spot | whiting

member of the abundant and varied family Sciaenidae, carnivorous, spiny-finned fishes including the weakfishes, the drums, and the whitings. The ... (20 of 327 words)

www​.infoplease​.com​/ce​6​/sci​/A​0814069​.html

Britannica Encyclopedia:

discrimination [psychology]

in psychology, the ability to perceive and respond to differences among stimuli. It's considered a more advanced form of learning than generalization, ... (22 of 155 words)

www​.britannica​.com​/E​Bchecked​/topic​/165484​/discrimination

Encarta Dictionary:

discern | discerned [past tense] | discerning [present participle] | discerns [3rd-person singular present]

to see or notice something that is not very clear or obvious | to understand something that is not immediately obvious | to be able to tell the ... (26 of 90 words, 3 definitions, pronunciation)

encarta​.msn​.com​/dictionary 1861605011​/definition​.html  [offline]

Etymology references

Online Etymology:

discern

First use: late 14th century

Origin: Old French discerner (13th century) "distinguish (between), separate" (by sifting), and directly from Latin discernere "to separate, set ... (21 of 35 etymology words)

www​.etymonline​.com​/index​.php term=discern

American Heritage Dictionary:

discern | discerned [past tense] | discerning [present participle] | discerns [3rd-person singular present]

Origin: Middle English discernen, from Old French discerner, from Latin discernere, to separate: dis-, apart; see ... (15 of 24 etymology words)

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/discern

Wiktionary:

discern | discerned [past tense] | discerning [present participle] | discerns [3rd-person singular present]

Origin: Middle English discernen, from Old French discerner, from Latin discernere ("to separate, divide, distinguish, discern"), from dis- ("apart") + cernere ("to separate"); see certain.

en​.wiktionary​.org​/wiki​/discern

Merriam-Webster:

discern

First use: 14th century

Origin: Middle English, from Middle French discerner, from Latin discernere to separate, distinguish between, from dis- apart + cernere to sift, certain

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/dictionary​/discern

New World Dictionary:

discern

Origin: Middle English discernen from Old French discerner from Latin discernere from dis-, apart + cernere, to separate: see "harvest"

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/discern

Collins Dictionary:

discern

First use: 14th century

Origin: from Old French discerner, from Latin discernere to divide, from dis-1 (apart) + cernere to separate

www​.collinsdictionary​.com​/dictionary​/english​/discern

Oxford Dictionary:

discern

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

oxforddictionaries​.com​/definition​/english​/discern

Encarta Dictionary:

discern | discerned [past tense] | discerning [present participle] | discerns [3rd-person singular present]

First use: 14th century

Origin: Directly or via French from Latin discernere "separate off" from cernere "separate, determine"

encarta​.msn​.com​/dictionary 1861605011​/definition​.html  [offline]

Audio references

Wiktionary:

discern | discerned [past tense] | discerning [present participle] | discerns [3rd-person singular present]

Audio: North American English pronunciation of "discern"

en​.wiktionary​.org​/wiki​/discern

Collins Dictionary:

discern

Audio: North American English pronunciation of "discern"

www​.collinsdictionary​.com​/dictionary​/english​/discern

Macmillan British Dictionary:

discern [transitive, formal] | discerned [past tense] | discerning [present participle] | discerns [3rd-person singular present]

Audio: British English pronunciation of "discern"

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/british​/discern

Macmillan American Dictionary:

discern [transitive, formal] | discerned [past tense] | discerning [present participle] | discerns [3rd-person singular present]

Audio: North American pronunciation of "discern"

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/american​/discern

Cambridge Dictionary:

discern [formal]

Audio 1: British English pronunuciation of "discern"

Audio 2: North American English pronunuciation of "discern"

dictionary​.cambridge​.org​/dictionary​/british​/discern

the Free Dictionary:

discern

Audio 1: North American English pronunciation of "discern"

Audio 2: British English pronunciation of "discern"

Audio 3: North American English pronunciation of "discern" by speech synthesizer

www​.thefreedictionary​.com​/discern

Google Dictionary:

discern | discerned [past tense] | discerning [present participle] | discerns [3rd-person singular present]

Audio: English pronunciation of "discern"

www​.google​.com​/#hl=en&tbs=dfn​:1&fp=1&q=discern

Merriam-Webster Pronunciation:

discern

Audio: North American pronunciation of "discern"

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/audio​.php file=discer​02 word=discern

YourDictionary Audio:

discern

Audio: North American English pronunciation of "discern" by speech synthesizer

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/discern

Page last updated: 2013-06-26

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