Discern Definition

discerned, discerns
discerned, discerns
To separate (a thing) mentally from another or others; recognize as separate or different.
Webster's New World
To perceive with the eyes; detect or distinguish.
Discern a figure in the shadows.
American Heritage
To perceive or recognize the difference.
Webster's New World
To perceive or recognize; make out clearly.
Webster's New World

To distinguish something as being different from something else; to differentiate.

He was too young to discern right from wrong.

Origin of Discern

  • From Middle English discernen, from Old French discerner, from Latin discernere (“to separate, divide, distinguish, discern”), from dis- (“apart”) + cernere (“to separate”); see certain.

    From Wiktionary

  • Middle English discernen from Old French discerner from Latin discernere to separate dis- apart dis– cernere to perceive krei- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

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