from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Exhibiting keen insight and good judgment; perceptive.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. Present participle of discern.
  • adj. Of keen insight or good judgement; perceptive.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Acute; shrewd; sagacious; sharp-sighted.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Having power to discern; discriminating; penetrating; acute: as, a discerning man; a discerning mind.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. quick to understand
  • adj. having or revealing keen insight and good judgment
  • adj. unobtrusively perceptive and sympathetic
  • adj. able to make or detect effects of great subtlety; sensitive


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Sometimes prisoners lie and sometimes their jailers do, but Dr. Brooks and his fellow warriors for the Lord haven't had much success in discerning which is which.

    rotten fruit

  • Clerval, whose eyes and feelings were always quick in discerning the sensations of others, declined the subject, alleging, in excuse, his total ignorance; and the conversation took a more general turn.

    Chapter 6

  • Williams honestly believes that as cantuar, and as a member of the Church Catholic, he is called to participate with others in discerning the mind of the Church, responsive to the will of God.

    Letters to the Editor

  • Did you know that a shot of espresso is so volatile that after seven seconds standing, it will taste significantly less good to certain discerning consumers?

    Jilly Gagnon: Degrees You Can Use!

  • As host of the "Explore Your Spirit with Kala" show and author of the award-winning "9 Life Altering Lessons: Secrets of the Mystery Schools Unveiled," "Ghosthunting North Carolina" and "The Awakened Aura: Experiencing the Evolution of Your Energy Body," Kala Ambrose's wisdom teachings are described as discerning, empowering and inspiring.

    Kala Ambrose: Create a Seed Planting Ceremony for Reflection, Connection and Introspection

  • Which is why hypotheticals have limited utility in discerning anything.

    Critical Thinking Exercise

  • Pinker suggests that fMRI studies can show how women's "neural hardware" gives them an edge in discerning emotion.

    How different are the brains of women and men? Not much.

  • The one problem I always seem to have is in discerning between sarcasm and bitterness, the two tones often coming neck-to-neck with one another.

    Pop quiz time

  • Precisely because of their different perspectives and methodologies, reading the two accounts together aids in discerning the place of literature in psychical reality.

    Attached to Reading: Mary Shelley's Psychical Reality

  • On the one hand, it is interesting that the eye works logarithmically in discerning brightness, and this has historical significance in astronomy.

    Archive 2008-07-10


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