- 1to know, recognize or understand something, especially something that is not obvious synonym detect discern something It is possible to discern a number of different techniques in her work. He discerned a certain coldness in their welcome. discern how, whether, etc… It is often difficult to discern how widespread public support is. discern that… I quickly discerned that something was wrong.
- 2discern something to see or hear something, usually with difficulty synonym make out We could just discern the house in the distance. She could clearly discern a figure walking up towards the house. Word Originlate Middle English: via Old French from Latin discernere, from dis- ‘apart’ + cernere ‘to separate’.
BrE BrE//dɪˈsɜːn//; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈsɜːrn//(not used in the progressive tenses) (formal)Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they discern
BrE BrE//dɪˈsɜːn//; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈsɜːrn//he / she / it discerns
BrE BrE//dɪˈsɜːnz//; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈsɜːrnz//past simple discerned
BrE BrE//dɪˈsɜːnd//; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈsɜːrnd//past participle discerned
BrE BrE//dɪˈsɜːnd//; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈsɜːrnd//-ing form discerning
BrE BrE//dɪˈsɜːnɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈsɜːrnɪŋ//