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verb (used with object)
  1. to discriminate or distinguish in thought.
verb (used without object)
  1. to become secerned.

Origin of secern

1620–30; < Latin sēcernere, equivalent to sē- se- + cernere to sift (cf. discern)
Related formsse·cern·ment, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for secern

Historical Examples

  • And still less is he able to secern the truth from the falsehood, or to weigh the probabilities of conflicting testimony.

    Account of a Tour in Normandy, Vol. I. (of 2)

    Dawson Turner

British Dictionary definitions for secern


verb (tr) rare
  1. (of a gland or follicle) to secrete
  2. to distinguish or discriminate
Derived Formssecernment, noun

Word Origin

C17: from Latin sēcernere to separate, from sē- apart + cernere to distinguish
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