IT’S A WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ BONANZA!
Origin of discernment
OTHER WORDS FROM discernmentnon·dis·cern·ment, nounpre·dis·cern·ment, nounself-dis·cern·ment, noun
Words nearby discernment
What does discernment mean?
Discernment is the ability to recognize small details, accurately tell the difference between similar things, and make intelligent judgements by using such observations.
It’s a noun form of the verb discern, which means to recognize, distinguish, or make judgments in this way, as in These two scents may smell identical to the average person, but an experienced perfumer can discern the difference between them.
Things that can be identified or distinguished in such a way can be described as discernible. The adjective discerning can be used to describe someone who shows discernment or to describe such an ability, as in Most chefs have a very discerning palate. A close synonym is discriminating. The noun discrimination can be used to mean the same thing as discernment (though it’s more commonly used to refer to the practice of prejudicial treatment, which is not one of the senses of discernment).
Example: Only through careful discernment can you tell a genuine artifact from the work of a counterfeiter.
Where does discernment come from?
The first records of the word discernment come from the late 1500s. Its base word, the verb discern, derives from the Latin term discernere, meaning “to separate” or “to divide,” from dis-, meaning “apart,” and cernere, “to separate.” The suffix -ment indicates a process or action: the process of discerning.
Discernment is the ability to tell things apart—to separate them, even when they appear to be very similar. People with discernment are able to make keen observations about things. Discernment is often thought to be an ability of those with wisdom or experience. It often involves making a judgment, especially about things that aren’t obvious. For example, it takes discernment to accurately judge someone’s character.
Did you know ... ?
What are some other forms related to discernment?
- nondiscernment (noun)
- prediscernment (noun)
- self-discernment (noun)
- discern (verb)
What are some synonyms for discernment?
What are some words that share a root or word element with discernment?
What are some words that often get used in discussing discernment?
How is discernment used in real life?
Discernment is a somewhat formal word and is typically used in serious contexts.
The lack of empathy some “spiritual” people on here have is terrifying. Please use discernment when choosing who to follow and listen to. Think for yourselves, don’t just blindly follow what someone says
— Aqua Moon Mystic 🔮🌙 (@MysticSophie) March 15, 2020
Always keep your discernment strong and never limit your knowledge.
— Royaltee 🦁🤴🏾 (@Stayy_blessed) March 16, 2020
Have the discernment to know the difference between hate speech and speech you hate.
— Ayishat Akanbi (@Ayishat_Akanbi) July 13, 2020
Try using discernment!
Which of the following actions is LEAST likely to be involved in the process of discernment?
Example sentences from the Web for discernment
But his essays show a man struggling to figure out the complexities of discernment and judgment.David Foster Wallace, Traditionalist? Considering ‘Both Flesh and Not: Essays’|David Masciotra|November 2, 2012|DAILY BEAST
His patience, discernment, and intelligence are much admired.Many 2008 Conservative Obama Backers, or ObamaCons, Will Stay True|John Avlon|September 4, 2012|DAILY BEAST
The old man was greatly pleased at this piece of discernment and observation.An Engagement of Convenience|Louis Zangwill
As we have said, our true interest is often most difficult of discernment.Lectures on the true, the beautiful and the good|Victor Cousin
And when persons of discernment find fault, we must desire them to consider the end of all our labour.
This discernment is what is called conscience, or sometimes the moral sense.Elements of Morals|Paul Janet
"You are a man of discernment, Binet," said Scaramouche, the cold loathing of his voice itself an insult.Scaramouche|Rafael Sabatini