discern

(redirected from discerns)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.
Related to discerns: misperceived

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

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
References in classic literature ?
At any moment, by an effort of his will, he could discern substances through their misty lack of substance, and convince himself that they were not solid in their nature, like yonder table of carved oak, or that big, square, leather-bound and brazen-clasped volume of divinity.
Ahab's hat was never restored; the wild hawk flew on and on with it; far in advance of the prow: and at last disappeared; while from the point of that disappearance, a minute black spot was dimly discerned, falling from that vast height into the sea.
And if it come so to pass, in that distance of judgment, which is between man and man, shall we not think that God above, that knows the heart, doth not discern that frail men, in some of their contradictions, intend the same thing; and accepteth of both?
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.
With a ready tact, the result of ever-active and wholesome sensibility, she discerned what was good for him, and did it.
--this veil, under which far more of his spirit was hidden than revealed, and through which he so imperfectly discerned the actual world, --or was its gray texture woven of some dark calamity?
for it must needs be that offenses come; but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh." If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through his appointed time, he now wills to remove, and that he gives to both North and South this terrible war, as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to him?