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[dih-surn-muh nt, -zurn-] /dɪˈsɜrn mənt, -ˈzɜrn-/
the faculty of discerning; discrimination; acuteness of judgment and understanding.
the act or an instance of discerning.
Origin of discernment
1580-90; < Middle French discernement, equivalent to discern(er) to discern + -ment -ment
Related forms
nondiscernment, noun
prediscernment, noun
self-discernment, noun
1. judgment, perspicacity, penetration, insight. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for discernment
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Your discernment must be very subtle, if you know all that is in my heart.

  • He knew that she was right, and respected her for the discernment.

    Love and Lucy

    Maurice Henry Hewlett
  • Still, I'm going to admit that I don't think her taste and discernment is all it should be.

  • I am therefore incapable of that discernment which is necessary for the ascetic.

    Thais Anatole France
  • These men of experience, integrity, and discernment are seekers after truths.

  • She must have brains, discernment; she has chosen you—that says everything.

    Samuel Brohl & Company Victor Cherbuliez
  • The attitude of these leaders does credit to their discernment.

    The New World of Islam Lothrop Stoddard
  • In so judging she would trust much too far to her own power of discernment.

    Cousin Henry

    Anthony Trollope
British Dictionary definitions for discernment


keen perception or judgment
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for discernment

1580s; see discern + -ment.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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