or dis·cern·a·ble

[dih-sur-nuh-buh l, -zur-]


capable of being discerned; distinguishable.

Origin of discernible

1555–65; < Latin discernibilis (see discern, -ible); replacing earlier discernable < Middle French, equivalent to discern(er) to discern + -able -able
Related formsdis·cern·i·ble·ness, dis·cern·a·ble·ness, noundis·cern·i·bly, dis·cern·a·bly, adverbun·dis·cern·a·ble, adjectiveun·dis·cern·a·bly, adverbun·dis·cern·i·ble, adjectiveun·dis·cern·i·bly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for discernable

Contemporary Examples of discernable

Historical Examples of discernable

  • This condition is not marked and may best be described as a discernable tendency.

  • The room is so dark, that for a minute or two nothing is discernable.

  • From the signal tower bright lights were discernable at Richmond.

    The Black Phalanx

    Joseph T. Wilson

  • Their pickets are plainly seen from our lines, and their signal flags are discernable on Mission ridge.

  • Having no guide, I could learn nothing save what was then discernable—such as the respective lines of battle of the two armies.

British Dictionary definitions for discernable


rarely discernable


able to be discerned; perceptible
Derived Formsdiscernibly or rarely discernably, 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

Word Origin and History for discernable



also discernable, 1560s, from French discernable, from discerner (see discern). Form with -a- was more common at first; spelling changed to -i- 17c. to conform to Latin discernibilis.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper