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[dih-sur-ning, -zur-] /dɪˈsɜr nɪŋ, -ˈzɜr-/
showing good or outstanding judgment and understanding:
a discerning critic of French poetry.
Origin of discerning
First recorded in 1600-10; discern + -ing2
Related forms
discerningly, adverb
nondiscerning, adjective
undiscerning, adjective
undiscerningly, adverb
perceptive, keen, sharp, discriminating. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for undiscerning
Historical Examples
  • For the undiscerning eyes of the boy were blind to the feet of clay.

    The Promise James B. Hendryx
  • But the undiscerning were not only to be kept quiet, they were to be made happy.

    Evolution, Old & New Samuel Butler
  • They are the notebooks of an omnivorous but indiscreet and undiscerning reader.

  • She was a mother of high ideals and she was not undiscerning.

    Tom Slade Percy K. Fitzhugh
  • Spiritually they are undiscerning, because imaginatively they are blind.

    The Soul of the Far East Percival Lowell
  • Life isn't a story-book or we who live it undiscerning clods.

    Ben Blair Will Lillibridge
  • Yet, undiscerning as she was, she was puzzled about her daughter's happiness.

    Wife in Name Only Charlotte M. Braeme (Bertha M. Clay)
  • They had the undiscerning look of one whose mind is numbed, as hers might well be.

    Lore of Proserpine Maurice Hewlett
  • Sir George, that angel, who deserved the first monarch in the universe, to be cast off by an undiscerning dolt!

  • Ye scorn him with an undiscerning scorn; Ye cannot read the marvel in his eye, The still serene abstraction.

    Alfred Tennyson Andrew Lang
British Dictionary definitions for undiscerning


having or showing good taste or judgment; discriminating
Derived Forms
discerningly, adverb
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 undiscerning


"action of perceiving," late 14c., verbal noun from discern. As a present participle adjective, attested from c.1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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