discern

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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, between, discern
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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, between, 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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Et alors que comme dans tout conte, la morale se rejoint dans le monde, discerner le bien du mal et toujours des heros pour camper les personnages, il est cette particularite dans le conte de Ghardaia, Beni Izguen, qui met en valeur de simples petites gens, au contraire des princes, princesses, rois, reines, ou gens riches dans les autres histoires de par le monde.
Car, dans sa lecture de Magnitudo Parvi, poeme par excellence de la transcendance, Gaudon croit discerner la description d'un voyage interplanetaire imaginaire.
Car, en effet, il s'agit desormais de replacer le scientifique dans le poetique et de discerner comment ce <<savoir>> mene a la comprehension de nouvelles formes.
Il s'agit egalement de permettre a ces futures generations de comprendre, a-t-il ajoute, [beaucoup moins que] le message de novembre, de discerner ses dimensions et sa noblesse, (...) faisant, aujourd'hui et toujours, la fierte de notre armee d'etre l'heritiere de l'auteur de cette epopee, l'ALN [beaucoup plus grand que].
Il s'applique a discerner les qualites et les defauts d'une oeuvre, d'une production de l'esprit.
Le but est d'apprendre aux eleves a lire et comprendre un enonce, analyser un probleme, recourir a sa faculte pour discerner les problemes, se concentrer pour selectionner des informations, exploiter les nouvelles connaissances, proposer des reponses et enfin commenter les demarches.
Si on arrive a discerner jouer et defendre, le Maroc, l'Algerie et la Tunisie seront des ogres.Qui assume ce declin de nos equipes nationales ?Les responsables.