- showing good or outstanding judgment and understanding: a discerning critic of French poetry.
Origin of discerning
SynonymsSee more synonyms for discerning on Thesaurus.com
- 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.
Origin of discern
SynonymsSee more synonyms for discern on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for discerning
Surely there needs to be some kind of discerning critical judgment involved?From Didion to Dunham, Female Essayists Seize the Day
October 17, 2014
At the very least, the fickle and discerning moviegoer is getting a vibrant diagnosis: healthier than ever.Is the Summer Blockbuster Dead?
July 14, 2014
A more vexing problem is discerning the suicide attempt from the accidental overdose.Heroin: America’s Silent Assassin
Dr. Anand Veeravagu, MD, Robert M. Lober, MD, PhD
February 3, 2014
Her comments struck a chord with discerning critics and writers.Growing up with George Eliot: Rebecca Mead’s “My Life in Middlemarch”
January 14, 2014
When it comes to people, though, discerning demonic influence is more difficult.The Devil and Antonin Scalia
October 8, 2013
“You are as discerning as ever,” murmured the land baron––for it was Edward Mauville.The Strollers
Frederic S. Isham
My son-in-law, Lawrence Hardin, is possessed of a discerning eye.Eventide
Where sounds are lacking, of what use is the faculty of discerning them?The Glow-Worm and Other Beetles
Jean Henri Fabre
To her discerning eye his manner of action conveyed no other impression.The Loyalist
James Francis Barrett
To Christianity, discerning the end through the means, it is Redemption.Natural Law in the Spiritual World
- having or showing good taste or judgment; discriminating
- (tr) to recognize or perceive clearly
- to recognize or perceive (differences)
Word Origin and History for discerning
"action of perceiving," late 14c., verbal noun from discern. As a present participle adjective, attested from c.1600.
late 14c., from Old French discerner (13c.) "distinguish (between), separate" (by sifting), and directly from Latin discernere "to separate, set apart, divide, distribute; distinguish, perceive," from dis- "off, away" (see dis-) + cernere "distinguish, separate, sift" (see crisis). Related: Discerned; discerning.