discern


verb (used with object)

  1. to perceive by the sight or some other sense or by the intellect; see, recognize, or apprehend: They discerned a sail on the horizon.
  2. to distinguish mentally; recognize as distinct or different; discriminate: He is incapable of discerning right from wrong.

verb (used without object)

  1. to distinguish or discriminate.

verb

  1. (tr) to recognize or perceive clearly
  2. to recognize or perceive (differences)
v.

late 14c., from Old French discerner (13c.) “distinguish (between), separate” (by sifting), and directly from Latin discernere “to separate, set apart, divide, distribute; distinguish, perceive,” from dis- “off, away” (see dis-) + cernere “distinguish, separate, sift” (see crisis). Related: Discerned; discerning.

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