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Definition of "discern" []

  • To perceive with the eyes or intellect; detect. (verb-transitive)
  • To recognize or comprehend mentally. (verb-transitive)
  • To perceive or recognize as being different or distinct; distinguish. See Synonyms at see1. (verb-transitive)
  • To perceive differences. (verb-intransitive)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "discern" in a sentence
  • "So that the pattern we are invited to discern is one of indifference and incompetence, perhaps, but certainly not racism?"
  • "I still managed to graduate in the top third of my class at UVA, which, although UVA has a strict policy of not publishing class rankings, I was able to discern from a slight knowledge of statistics and knowing that we were adhering to a B-mean rule in assigning grades."
  • "What you were perhaps unable so far to discern from the photographs (which would be exactly the effect desired by Dientzenhofer) is the circumstance that the altar painting which you can see (showing the martyrium of St. Dionysius by the Bamberg court painter Sebastian Reinhard from 1714) is not actually on the high altar."