• synonyms


verb (used with object), de·scried, de·scry·ing.
  1. to see (something unclear or distant) by looking carefully; discern; espy: The lookout descried land.
  2. to discover; perceive; detect.
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Origin of descry

1250–1300; Middle English descrien < Old French de(s)crïer to proclaim, decry. See dis-1, cry
Related formsde·scri·er, nounun·de·scried, adjectiveun·de·scry·ing, adjective
Can be confuseddecry descry (see synonym study at decry)

Synonyms for descry

1. notice.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for descried

disclose, reveal, detect, determine, spot, perceive, note, espy, see, observe, sight, behold, discern

Examples from the Web for descried

Historical Examples of descried

  • Looking around him, he at length, from the edge of the valley, descried Robert.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • Presently there was not so much as a trail of smoke to be descried at sea.

  • They set forward, and after about a day's journey they descried the lodge of the Manitoes.

    The Indian Fairy Book

    Cornelius Mathews

  • Next is descried the bay of Tarentum, town, if rumour is true, of Hercules.

  • We had descried from some way off a mass of brilliant crimson on a steep hillside.

British Dictionary definitions for descried


verb -scries, -scrying or -scried (tr)
  1. to discern or make out; catch sight of
  2. to discover by looking carefully; detect
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Derived Formsdescrier, noun

Word Origin for descry

C14: from Old French descrier to proclaim, decry
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

Word Origin and History for descried



"to proclaim," mid-14c., from Old French descrier, from des- (see dis-) + crier, from Latin quiritare (see cry (v.)).

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"to see, discern," c.1300, probably from Old French descrier "publish" (Modern French décrier), from Latin describere (see describe).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper