Definition of discover verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    discover

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//dɪˈskʌvə(r)//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈskʌvər//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they discover
    BrE BrE//dɪˈskʌvə(r)//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈskʌvər//
     
    he / she / it discovers
    BrE BrE//dɪˈskʌvəz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈskʌvərz//
     
    past simple discovered
    BrE BrE//dɪˈskʌvəd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈskʌvərd//
     
    past participle discovered
    BrE BrE//dɪˈskʌvəd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈskʌvərd//
     
    -ing form discovering
    BrE BrE//dɪˈskʌvərɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈskʌvərɪŋ//
     
    Experiments and research
     
    jump to other results
  1. 1  discover something to be the first person to become aware that a particular place or thing exists Cook is credited with discovering Hawaii. Scientists around the world are working to discover a cure for AIDS. Wordfindercolonize, discover, explore, pioneer, reconnaissance, scout, settle, terrain, territory, voyage See related entries: Experiments and research
  2. 2  to find somebody/something that was hidden or that you did not expect to find discover somebody/something Police discovered a large stash of drugs while searching the house. We discovered this beach while we were sailing around the island. discover somebody/something doing something He was discovered hiding in a shed. discover somebody/something + adj. She was discovered dead at her home in Leeds.
  3. 3  to find out about something; to find some information about something discover something I've just discovered hang-gliding! discover (that)… It was a shock to discover (that) he couldn’t read. discover why, how, etc… We never did discover why she gave up her job. it is discovered that… It was later discovered that the diaries were a fraud. somebody/something is discovered to be/have… He was later discovered to be seriously ill.
  4. 4[often passive] discover somebody to be the first person to realize that somebody is very good at singing, acting, etc. and help them to become successful and famous The singer was discovered while still at school.
  5. Word Origin Middle English (in the sense ‘make known’): from Old French descovrir, from late Latin discooperire, from Latin dis- (expressing reversal) + cooperire ‘cover completely’, from co- (expressing intensive force) + operire ‘to cover’.Extra examples It was a terrible shock to discover the full extent of the problem. It would be fascinating to discover more about the town’s history. She was surprised to discover he was perfectly capable around the house. There’s great talent out there just waiting to be discovered. We are trying to discover the truth about his disappearance. We soon discovered we’d been mistaken. recently discovered evidence But how had he discovered her whereabouts? He claims to have discovered a direct correlation between the nuclear tests and earthquakes. He is credited with having discovered the first recipe for gin back in the 1600s. He was discovered hiding in the shed. It was a shock to discover that he couldn’t read. She subsequently discovered that he’d been having an affair for several months. She was determined to discover the truth about her neighbours. The leak was first discovered last month. The relics were discovered in a lead box in the ruins of an abbey.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: discover