to perceive by the sight or some other sense or by the intellect; see, recognize, or apprehend: They discerned a sail on the horizon.
to distinguish mentally; recognize as distinct or different; discriminate: He is incapable of discerning right from wrong.
to distinguish or discriminate.
- dis·cern·er, noun
- pre·dis·cern, verb (used with object)
- un·dis·cerned, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use discern in a sentence
This son of an artist-painter father and occupational therapist mother initially wanted to be a chef, thanks to his discerning palate.When Dead Beer Walks: A Dane in Vietnam Turns Strange Brew Into Craft Gin | Eugene Robinson | February 12, 2021 | Ozy
Choosing a mix from a single brand may allow you to discern differences more consistently than randomly selecting styles from a variety of brands.Beginner-friendly golf balls that will help you fall in love with the game | PopSci Commerce Team | February 5, 2021 | Popular-Science
It is not with some discerning eye on my part that I wound up on a show that still somehow manages to be culturally relevant 20 years later.
Designed as fun teaching tools, they’re meant to help both budding news consumers and veteran news junkies learn how to discern factually sound, vetted reporting from malicious misinformation.
This allows them to smell with higher sensitivity, while being able to minutely discern what they’re smelling—blood or Deet.Scientists Made a Biohybrid Nose Using Cells From Mosquitoes | Shelly Fan | January 26, 2021 | Singularity Hub
But, as far as I can discern, they do focused, pragmatic work.
The addicting ditty “One of These Things” was used to help children learn to compare and discern differences.
Meaning, one was left to discern, that religion is self-evidently a coercive force for ill.Karen Armstrong’s New Rule: Religion Isn’t Responsible for Violence | Patricia Pearson | October 29, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Lately though it seems the line between spin and reality is harder to discern.
Rational people, they contend, would take the time to discern whether the person behind the weapon was an actual threat.
It did not amuse me, nor, so far as I could discern, was Monsieur de Tressan greatly taken with it.St. Martin's Summer | Rafael Sabatini
At 1720 to 1725 a close student of his work of hand may discern some signs of what was to follow, it might be said naturally.Antonio Stradivari | Horace William Petherick
Not once, by word or deed, can we discern that he cherished any idea of future renown.The Life & Letters of Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky | Modeste Tchaikovsky
In coasting along the shore, you will discern the summits which are marked on the chart.
Few minds could discern distinctly the path of truth and duty through the clouds and vapors of those stormy times.Madame Roland, Makers of History | John S. C. Abbott
British Dictionary definitions for discern
(tr) to recognize or perceive clearly
to recognize or perceive (differences)
- discerner, noun
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