[ dih-skuhv-er ]
See synonyms for: discoverdiscovereddiscoveringdiscovers on

verb (used with object)
  1. to see, get knowledge of, learn of, find, or find out; gain sight or knowledge of (something previously unseen or unknown): to discover America;to discover electricity.

  2. to notice or realize: I discovered I didn't have my credit card with me when I went to pay my bill.

  1. Archaic. to make known; reveal; disclose.

Origin of discover

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English discouere(n), descuvere(n), from Anglo-French discoverir, descovrir, from Old French descovrir, descuvrir, from Late Latin discooperīre “to disclose, expose”; see origin at dis-1, cover

synonym study For discover

1. Discover, invent, originate suggest bringing to light something previously unknown. To discover may be to find something that had previously existed but had hitherto been unknown: to discover a new electricity; it may also refer to devising a new use for something already known: to discover how to make synthetic rubber. To invent is to make or create something new, especially something ingeniously devised to perform mechanical operations: to invent a device for detecting radioactivity. To originate is to begin something new, especially new ideas, methods, etc.: to originate a political movement, the use of assembly-line techniques.

Other words for discover

Other words from discover

  • dis·cov·er·a·ble, adjective
  • dis·cov·er·a·bly, adverb
  • non·dis·cov·er·a·ble, adjective
  • pre·dis·cov·er, verb (used with object)
  • re·dis·cov·er, verb (used with object)
  • un·dis·cov·er·a·ble, adjective
  • un·dis·cov·ered, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use discover in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for discover


/ (dɪˈskʌvə) /

verb(tr; may take a clause as object)
  1. to be the first to find or find out about: Fleming discovered penicillin

  2. to learn about or encounter for the first time; realize: she discovered the pleasures of wine

  1. to find after study or search: I discovered a leak in the tank

  2. to reveal or make known

Derived forms of discover

  • discoverable, adjective
  • discoverer, 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