(third-person singular simple present decerns, present participle decerning, simple past and past participle decerned)
- with infinitive or object clause
- with simple object
- Decree by judicial sentence that something be done.
First attested in late Middle English circa 1425; from the French décerner, from the Latin dēcernō (“I decide”, (law): “I pronounce a decision”), from dē (“of”; “from”, “away from”) + cernō (“I separate”, “I distinguish”), whence the English cern. In Old French, the forms of décerner were frequently conflated with those of descerner, discerner; the two verbs were not clearly distinguished until the sixteenth century; hence, in English also, decern is found with the sense discern.