discern

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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, 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 ?
769-768) (40) For these are days which come from Zeus the all-wise, when men discern aright.
Children, who play life, discern its true law and relations more clearly than men, who fail to live it worthily, but who think that they are wiser by experience, that is, by failure.
if he discern such sinfulness in his own white soul, what horrid spectacle would he behold in thine or mine
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?
It requires no skill in the science of war to discern that uniformity in the organization and discipline of the militia would be attended with the most beneficial effects, whenever they were called into service for the public defense.
When I was in Spaceland I heard that your sailors have very similar experiences while they traverse your seas and discern some distant island or coast lying on the horizon.
But the scanty wisdom of man, on entering into an affair which looks well at first, cannot discern the poison that is hidden in it, as I have said above of hectic fevers.
To learn and discern of his brother the clod, Of his brother the brute, and his brother the God.
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?