American English

Definition of discern verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they discern
    he / she / it discerns
    past simple discerned
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  1. 1(not used in the progressive tenses)
  2. 2(formal) to 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.
  3. 3discern something to see or hear something, but not very clearly synonym make somebody/somethingout We could just discern the house in the distance.
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adjective synonym perceptible There is often no discernible difference between rival brands. His face was barely discernible in the gloom.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: discern