Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal.

discern (someone or something) from (someone or something)

1. To recognize the differences between people or things. I have a hard time discerning Jim from Greg, but they are identical twins after all. You can discern hydrangea from phlox by looking at their leaves.
2. To gain information from someone or something. Her message was so cryptic that I couldn't discern anything from it—do you know what's going on?
See also: discern

discern between (someone or something) and (someone or something)

To recognize the differences between people or things. I have a hard time discerning between Jim and Greg, but they are identical twins after all. You can discern between hydrangea and phlox by looking at their leaves.
See also: and, discern

discern between someone or something and someone or something

to detect the difference between people and things. I cannot discern between the dark trees and the dark sky behind them. I cannot discern between the person and the background.
See also: and, discern

discern someone or something from something (else)

to detect the difference between someone or something and something else. I can hardly discern Tom from the busy background in this picture. I can't discern anything from that cluttered scene.
See also: discern

discern something from someone or something

to learn or determine something from someone or something. We discerned a lot from the eyewitnesses. We discerned a lot from our discussions with the past president.
See also: discern
References in classic literature ?
Nevertheless, looking at the old warrior with affection -- for, slight as was the communication between us, my feeling towards him, like that of all bipeds and quadrupeds who knew him, might not improperly be termed so, -- I could discern the main points of his portrait.
There the companions of his fall, o'rewhelm'd With Floods and Whirlwinds of tempestuous fire, He soon discerns, and weltring by his side One next himself in power, and next in crime, Long after known in PALESTINE, and nam'd BEELZEBUB.
There is, moreover, a third sort, an imaginary one, and he ought, if such a one should be presented to his consideration, to be able to discern what sort of one it would be at the beginning; and, when once established, what would be the proper means to preserve it a long time.
Hence it arises that Ills abound, for they come not one by one, but in troops, and by no means singly: while the Goods proceed from Jupiter, and are given, not alike to all, but singly, and separately; and one by one to those who are able to discern them.
At times, as my memory now reports this extraordinary scene, I could discern but a part of his body; it was as if he had been partly blotted out--I cannot otherwise express it--then a shifting of his position would bring it all into view again.
Now we are never at a loss to discern this in women about forty; for as such grave, serious, and experienced ladies well know their own meaning, so it is always very easy for a man of the least sagacity to discover it with the utmost certainty.
So far was the skin on his cheeks from being cherry-coloured, that you could not discern what the natural colour of his cheeks was, they being totally overgrown by a black beard, which ascended to his eyes.
If they discern any evidences of wrong- going in any direction that I have indicated, they will acknowledge that I had reason in what I wrote.
There are certain queer times and occasions in this strange mixed affair we call life when a man takes this whole universe for a vast practical joke, though the wit thereof he but dimly discerns, and more than suspects that the joke is at nobody's expense but his own.
20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- DISCERN, the leader in personalized platform-as-a-service (PaaS) for Financial Insight, today announced DISCERN Real Estate, the industry's first platform-as-a-service that informs financial decision-makers about opportunities and risks in real estate markets through personalized signals and multi-perspective data analysis.
He articulates a "Christopraxis practical theology of the cross" that honors Jesus' continued ministry and sees ministry as helping people discern how God is working in their lives.
By retiring the sacrament of holy orders, we regain the fullness of the sacrament of baptism, which calls every baptized person to discern their gifts as a member of the priestly people.
In this study, we have used the HONcode, DISCERN Plus and LIDA tools to review the quality of health information on urologists' websites across the U.
Designed by Miikkulainen, DISCERN is able to learn natural language.
The main reason that educators are concerned about students' ability to discern trusted, reliable information in their online research, although most want them to do such research, is that there is simply too much information on the Internet.