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[dih-sur-ning, -zur-]
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  1. showing good or outstanding judgment and understanding: a discerning critic of French poetry.
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Origin of discerning

First recorded in 1600–10; discern + -ing2
Related formsdis·cern·ing·ly, adverbnon·dis·cern·ing, adjectiveun·dis·cern·ing, adjectiveun·dis·cern·ing·ly, adverb


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

Related Words


Examples from the Web for discerningly

Historical Examples

  • They dread to grant distinctions, and to judge of us discerningly is beyond them.

    Diana of the Crossways, Complete

    George Meredith

  • Lovingly, tenderly, discerningly, marveling and absorbed and deeply fascinated I looked at Me in the mirror.

    I, Mary MacLane

    Mary MacLane

  • Gutzkow alone, about the year 1835, begins to criticise him discerningly.

British Dictionary definitions for discerningly


  1. having or showing good taste or judgment; discriminating
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Derived Formsdiscerningly, 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 discerningly


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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper