Dis·cern v. t. [imp. & p. p. Discerned p. pr. & vb. n. Discerning.]
1. To see and identify by noting a difference or differences; to note the distinctive character of; to discriminate; to distinguish.
To discern such buds as are fit to produce blossoms. --Boyle.
A counterfeit stone which thine eye can not discern from a right stone. --Robynson (More's Utopia).
2. To see by the eye or by the understanding; to perceive and recognize; as, to discern a difference.
And [I] beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding. --Prov. vii. 7.
Our unassisted sight . . . is not acute enough to discern the minute texture of visible objects. --Beattie.
I wake, and I discern the truth. --Tennyson.
Syn: -- To perceive; distinguish; discover; penetrate; discriminate; espy; descry; detect. See Perceive.
Dis·cern·ing, a. Acute; shrewd; sagacious; sharp-sighted.
adj 1: having or revealing keen insight and good judgment; "a
discerning critic"; "a discerning reader" [ant: undiscerning]
2: unobtrusively perceptive and sympathetic; "a discerning
editor"; "a discreet silence" [syn: discreet]
3: quick to understand; "a kind and apprehensive friend"-
Nathaniel Hawthorne [syn: apprehensive]
4: able to make or detect effects of great subtlety; sensitive;
"discerning taste"; "a discerning eye for color"