Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1300-1400
Language: Latin
Origin: discernere 'to separate', from cernere 'to sift'

discern

verb
     
di‧scern [transitive not in progressive] formal
1 to notice or understand something by thinking about it carefully
discern what/where/why etc
Officials were keen to discern how much public support there was.
2 to be able to see something by looking carefully [= perceive]:
We could just discern a town in the distance.
discernible adjective
discernibly adverb

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